Training

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How to Train Your Dog to Hide

Training

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2 min read

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How to Train Your Dog to Hide
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon1-2 Weeks
Fun training category iconFun

Introduction

Has your pooch mastered all the basic boring commands like ‘sit’, ‘lie down’, ‘paw’ and ‘roll over'?Well why not teach him something a little different by teaching him how to hide. Imagine how adorable and shy he’ll look to guests when he puts his little paddy paws over those doey eyes. And with Halloween coming up, what better way to get your dog in on the occasion by getting him to ‘hide’ when spooky surroundings come close. Wouldn’t it be hilarious at a Halloween party, to get him to hide when a particularly spooky guest comes through the door? He’ll be the talk of the event and what a great way to get him to stand out from the rest of the crowd with this fabulous trick and treat combination.

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Defining Tasks

This trick will be a great way to develop some slightly more complicated obedience skills and to stimulate your pooch so that he doesn’t get bored, which is also shown to decrease the likelihood of behavioral problems. Another great benefit of teaching your furry pal this trick is that he’ll likely be so tired from it that he’ll be on his best behavior for the rest of the day and night, giving you some time to have some well-deserved rest and puppy cuddles. Although this trick is slightly more complicated than the standard basic training, which is recommended to be taught beforehand, it should be relatively easy to teach and most dogs will pick it up. If you engage with your pooch in regular, short training sessions, a week to two should be required at the most. Try to teach your pooch while he’s relatively young; 6 months would be a good age, as by then he should already know some more basic tricks and won’t be as easily distracted as young pups.

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Getting Started

One of the great things about this trick is that you don’t need much to get started. Just bring along a great attitude and a bit of patience, and it’s sure to be a fantastic bonding experience for both you and your four-legged friend. A couple of items that are a must for this trick, however, are a quiet but familiar learning environment free from distractions, tasty shop bought or homemade treats, and a clicker if that is your preferred method of training. A quiet, but familiar training environment would be ideal, as your pupper will be less easily distracted if he’s used to the area. You could even take him for a quick walk beforehand so that he’s not too tired, but also not too full of beans.

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The Sticker and Clicker Method

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1

Purchase a clicker

If you don't already have one, these are easily bought from most pet stores.

2

Teach the basics

Although hide can be the first trick you teach with the clicker, it would be better to get your pupper used to easier tricks such as sit and lie down first. This trick will also be easiest to master if he is sitting or lying down.

3

Place the sticker

Pop a small sticker towards the top of the dog’s nose; make sure that the stickers are easily removable. Tip- If you cause your pup discomfort at this stage, he might be put off learning the trick.

4

Click and treat

The sticker will likely be a little annoying for your pooch, and as such he will move his paws over his nose and eyes as to ‘hide’ in a bid to get the sticker off. When he does this, click and treat.

5

Use the 'Hide' command

Now as well as clicking and giving a treat, make sure you use the 'hide' command every time he does the trick.

6

Remove the sticker

Once you’ve repeated the previous step until he seems confident in associated the ‘hide’ command with the trick. Remove the sticker and say ‘hide’ and you pooch should cover his eyes as before. If he doesn’t get this, put the sticker back on and repeat the previous step until he’s ready.

The Hiding Behavior Method

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1

Encourage natural behavior

Your pooch could be perfect for this method if he naturally rubs his face with his paws. When you see him doing this, give him a treat and tell him what a good boy he is.

2

Be extra encouraging

Whenever you see this behavior and wherever you are, don’t hold back your praise.

3

Use the paws

If he’s having a little trouble picking this trick up, you can hold up his paws gently over his eyes, in the ‘hide’ position you’d like him to adopt.

4

Incorporate the command

Now each time, just as you see him go to touch his face with his paws, in a confident, authoritative manner say ‘hide’. Be careful to make it friendly too, so he knows although you mean business you’re also having fun.

5

Be firm

Make sure you take an authoritative stance, standing up straight, airing confidence and making yourself look like the boss, while teaching this trick.

The Other Props Method

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Headbands and neckerchiefs

If your poochie doesn’t seem to display natural face rubbing behavior or respond to the sticker/clicker training technique, why not use a doggy neckerchief or headband?

2

Prop placement

Make sure that when you place either of these props on your pooch, that they are fitted tight enough so that it covers their eyes, but loose enough that you can get a couple of fingers between the object and your furry friend. It is very important that these objects do not cover your four legged friend’s nostrils, as we don’t want to make breathing difficult for him.

3

See how he responds

With the placement of these items, your furry pal should get a little irritated by them and try to pull them off with his paws. This is exactly the behavior you want, as it mimics the hide command. When he does this, give him lots of praise and a big treat.

4

Repeat it

Keep doing this until each time he does the right movements with his paws to remove the object.

5

Introduce the 'Hide' command

Now that he’s confidently hiding with the help of these props, each time he does it say ‘hide’ in a confident but friendly voice. Keep repeating this step so he associates the command with using his paws to remove the object.

6

Remove the object

Now it’s time to uncover those doey eyes and simply use the command ‘hide’. He should now be conditioned by this command and should repeat the trick as before without the assistance of the objects.

7

If he doesn't respond

Hopefully, the trick ends at step 6, however, some pooches pick ‘hide’ up quicker than others. If he doesn’t get the command to start with, be patient and go back to using the objects as before, really putting emphasis on the command ‘hide’ each time he covers his eyes with his paws.

By Catherine Lee-Smith

Published: 10/13/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

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