How to Train Your Small Dog to Laugh

Medium
3-14 Days
Fun

Introduction

Your dog may be small in stature, but she has a huge personality. She's itching to greet everyone that comes through the door. She's also desperate to be the center of attention at every family gathering. She purposefully makes her way through the crowd-attracting ‘awws’, cuddles, and food as she goes. You know Poppy likes to please a crowd and that's why you want to start teaching her some funny tricks. You’ve mastered the basics such as roll over and wave. So now you’d like to up the stakes and teach her to laugh!

If you can train your small dog to laugh, then you’ve got the best party trick around. Just seeing your dog laugh will be enough to get even the quietest of guests to come out of their shell. It’s also a great building block to move onto teaching her even more advanced commands later on. While laughing on command may not be what most people expect when they see your pint-sized pooch, the silly sound will definitely grab some attention. 

Defining Tasks

Training your small dog to laugh is actually surprisingly straightforward. Training will consist of a number of stages. You’ll firstly need to watch her closely and look for situations that naturally trigger a laugh or a laughing sound. Once you have this, you can use positive reinforcements to encourage Poppy to repeat the behavior. You can then think about introducing a verbal cue to increase your control over the trick.

If your small dog is a puppy and full of energy, you could see results in just a few days. This is because dogs are at their most receptive when they’re in their puppy stages. But if Poppy is older and her training days are mostly in the past, then you may need a couple of weeks of consistent practice before you see results. Get training right and you’ll have a fantastic way to bond with your little canine pal. You’ll also have the perfect Snapchat story!

Getting Started

Before you start work, you need to make sure you have a few things. The most important component will be the incentives, so stock up on mouth-watering treats. Alternatively, break her favorite food into small chunks. A toy and a clicker will also be needed for one of the methods below.

Try and find around ten minutes each day to train and opt for a time where neither of you will be distracted. Remember if your dog is a puppy, then keep training sessions short or she may quickly lose interest.

Once you’re confident you have all that, just bring patience and enthusiasm, then the work can begin!

The Pay Attention Method

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Step
1
Watch closely
Spend the first couple of days watching Poppy. Look for any situations which naturally cause her to smile and make a laughing sound. This is likely to be when she's excited for a walk or about to be bed.
Step
2
‘Laugh’
Once you’ve got your trigger, put your small dog back in that situation. But this time, issue a ‘laugh’ instruction just before or as she starts to laugh. Try and give the command in a high-pitched voice. Note that you can use any word or phrase you like for the command. She may be small, but your little dog can learn hundreds of different commands.
Step
3
Reward
As soon as Poppy follows your instructions and laughs, hand over a tasty treat. Alternatively, you can play with a toy for a minute or so. Make sure you shower her in verbal praise.
Step
4
Practice makes perfect
Now you simply need to practice regularly. Try and spend a few minutes each day training. Start giving the instruction in different situations with other distractions around. With consistent training, Poppy will soon associate the command with the action.
Step
5
Lose the treats
Once you’re confident your small dog understands the command and laughs each time, you can then begin to phase out the treats. By this point, you don’t need to supply her with food as simply pleasing her owner will be enough.
Recommend training method?

The Follow My Lead Method

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Step
1
Setting up
Lead your small dog into a room. Make sure you have a toy or some treats with you. Dogs learn by mirroring their owners behavior, so you’re going to show her how it’s done. Because she's little, you will need to sit down or maybe even lay down so she can see your face clearly.
Step
2
The sound
Now hold up a treat to get her attention. You then need to put your mouth into a ‘huh’ shape. But if you put your hand to your throat, you shouldn’t feel any vibration. From this position, you’re going to produce a doggy laugh.
Step
3
The face
You now need to make a happy, emotive face. If Poppy can see that you’re excited, then she's more likely to be happy and follow your lead. If you look bored and uninterested, then you won’t get her worked up enough.
Step
4
The laugh
Now while looking happy, build on step two by starting to make a laughing sound with your breath. Keep it relatively quiet and don’t worry if it takes some practice. Just look at your small dog and keep practicing until she eventually catches on.
Step
5
Reward
This is the most time consuming part, so don’t get frustrated if it takes a little while to produce a canine laugh. Eventually your small dog will try and copy you. You can then hand over a delicious treat and give her lots of praise. Now simply practice each day until she can laugh without your lead.
Recommend training method?

The Clicker Method

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Step
1
Clicker friendly
A clicker is one of the best ways to speed up dog training. Simply click whenever she performs a trick or behaves correctly. It will soon become a signal to Poppy that she's done something right, increasing the chances of her repeating the behavior again.
Step
2
Worked up
Now kneel before your small dog and play around with a favorite toy. Be animated and high-pitched as you go. You want to get her excited and cause her to smile and laugh all on her own.
Step
3
Click and reward
As soon as she even starts to smile and laugh, click to let her know that she's on the right track. Don’t worry if it wasn’t a proper laugh just yet. You need to reward all encouraging signs at this point.
Step
4
Reward
Once you’ve clicked, follow up with the toy a couple of seconds later. Let her play around with it and show her how happy you are. The more elated she feels, the more eager she will be to play the game again.
Step
5
Building on it
Now you just need to practice for a few minutes each day. However, wait for her to do more of a smile and a laugh before you click each time. Before you know it, she'll be a full-fledged laughing canine. You can then gradually cut out the treats and just use the clicker to let her know she's done a good job.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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