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It's always a good idea to continue your Greyhound's training beyond basic obedience. This smart breed benefits from mental stimulation as well as physical. Continuing to train your Greyhound advanced tricks is also important to building the bond you have, especially if you have a rescue Greyhound who is still adjusting to life off the track. The patience and consistency required to train these advanced tricks will create a safe and comfortable environment for him.
Aside from the benefits to your relationship, training your Greyhound advanced tricks will be fun! Friends and family will be amazed at parties and BBQs when your greyhound gives you a high-five, army crawls for a treat, rolls over, or even more. Not many people have seen these beautiful dogs first hand, so introducing the breed to new people and showing off just what amazing pets they can be is an amazing service that might inspire others to adopt a retired Greyhound in need.
If you are familiar with this breed, you know that Greyhounds have their own specific quirks, and they are not the best dogs for all kinds of tricks. If you have a retired Greyhound who had a rough experience at the track, he may not be comfortable sitting for long periods of time, so be sure you can adjust to his particular needs and comfort level.
Greyhounds also have shorter attention spans than other dogs. Before you begin training, make sure that your dog has had plenty of time to run and play and "get the wiggles out." You'll have a hard time teaching him to roll over if he just wants to play. Limit your training time to about 10 or 15-minute intervals. It's OK to do it a few times a day. After the morning walk and before breakfast or after an evening run and before dinner are perfect times to train.
In order to get started, you won't need too much. Be sure your dog has mastered basic obedience first, and try to train indoors so there are fewer distractions. Here are a few other things to have on hand.
- A special martingale harness so your dog can't back out of his collar
- His favorite treats
- A quiet space to learn
- Plenty of patience
Below you'll find three different tricks you can try to teach your dog. Read through each method and adjust as you need. With a lot of time and patience, you'll be able to teach your Greyhound advanced tricks in no time.
The Wave Method
Find a quiet place
Start in a quiet place with little distraction.
Sit, if possible
This trick is traditionally taught from a 'sit', but if your Greyhound is uncomfortable sitting, you can do this while he's standing at attention.
Tap his shoulder
Give his shoulder a tap to encourage him to lift his paw. When he does, give him a treat.
Hold out your hand
When he's confidently lifting his paw, hold out your hand a little bit higher and encourage him to lift his paw higher by waving your own hand. Give him a treat.
Reward the wave
When he is raising his paw high and waving it, give him a treat. Start to only treat the wave motion you want.
Introduce the command
When he begins to wave his paw consistently, start to introduce the command "wave." Say it after he waves but before you give him a treat.
Waving on command
After a while, test him by asking him to wave before he does the motion. If he waves when he hears the command, you are ready to move on.
The Crawl Method
Find a spot
Find a quiet place to teach where you won't be interrupted or distracted.
Skip the 'sit' and go right to a 'lie down'.
Use a lure
Use his favorite treat and put it right in front of his nose. Slowly move it forward.
The first crawl
Keep moving the treat slowly away and encourage your dog to take a first crawl motion. If he starts to get up, go back to the 'lie down'. You can even put one hand over his back to keep him down. Give him the treat when he crawls.
Keep moving the lure farther and farther as he gets the hang of crawling. Have him take a few more crawling steps each time before he gets the treat.
Name the trick
Start to name the trick by saying "crawl" right before you give him the treat.
Test the trick
After a while, ask for the command from a 'lie down' and reward him when he starts crawling.
The Roll Over Method
In a quiet place, ask for a 'down'.
Lure with a treat
Show him his favorite treat and start to lure it over his shoulder so he lies on his side. Give him the treat.
Keep moving the treat
Once he's eagerly flopping on his side for the treat, move the treat over his back to encourage him to roll to the other side. Excitedly reward when he rolls over.
One solid motion
Take those two moves and put them into one solid motion, moving the dog through lying on his side and rolling over in one smooth move. Treat him when he puts it all together.
Give it a name
When he's rolling in one solid movement, say "roll over" before you give him a treat.
Now he's got it
You'll know he's got it when you say "roll over" and he'll do the motion without the lure.
By Katie Smith
Published: 03/23/2018, edited: 01/08/2021