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With such an adorable face and plenty of personality, your Pekingese deserves some of the spotlight! If you take some time to train your Pekingese some easy dog tricks, you will find that she is the star of the show everywhere you go. Plus, you will enjoy the benefits of spending time working with your dog to strengthen your bond and give her the building blocks to learn other behaviors.
However, as you may already know, these independent dogs can be a little tricky to train. No one really knows if this breed tends to be stubborn and willful because they are smarter than the average dog, or if they are just plain independent. Either way, it will take some patience and consistency to teach her new tricks. The best strategy? Keep things fun and rewarding.
This guide will give you some basic training tips along with specific instructions on how to teach 3 cute and easy tricks: 'Spin', 'Play Dead' and 'Sass'. Our methods focus on using rewards as a way to motivate your Pekingese to learn.
Some tips to make sure your Pekingese will stay tuned to learn these easy dog tricks:
Keep your sessions very short.
If your dog gets bored before you are done training, then she will be less interested in paying attention for the next session. 10-20 minutes is a good starting point.
Use high-value food motivators.
To really keep his interest, use food that he really likes. It is okay to just use his regular kibble (taking some of his daily rations for the purpose) but be sure to add something extra tasty like tiny bits of cheese or hot dog to keep him engaged.
Success is your job.
Your Pekingese already knows she is the bomb. If your training sessions feel like the praise and reward she knows she deserves, then she will look forward to training time. Make sure to set the bar for rewards at a level that results in quick rewards, moving it towards your end goal only as she is ready.
A few training basics will help you prepare to train tricks--or anything else, for that matter!
Consider a clicker.
You may have seen this small and inexpensive piece of gear at the pet store. A clicker makes a sharp sound when squeezed. The purpose is to mark behavior you like the instant it occurs, followed, when you can, by a pea-sized food reward. It helps make quick work of training behaviors, particularly those centered on body movements such as the easy tricks in this guide. If you do not have a clicker, use a special sound such as a whistle to “mark” the right behavior the instant it happens and always follow up with a treat.
Fade food rewards after behavior is learned.
It is a myth about positive training methods that your dog will be dependent on food motivators for life. In fact, once your girl learns a trick and has it down pat, you can switch to nonfood motivators like praise, access to a favorite toy, or playful petting. Every now and then, surprise her with a big food reward for a trick well done and you will find she continues to perform at her best.
Start in a low distraction space.
It is always best to get a behavior just where you want it when your dog is not distracted by other smells, sounds, people or dogs. After she has the basics down, be sure to practice her tricks in new places and around unfamiliar faces to fully ingrain the behaviors.
The Spin Method
With a small piece of food between your fingers, tempt your dog. Once she knows you have it, lead her nose around in a circle.
When she gets to a full circle, click (or make your marking sound) then give her the reward. Repeat 5 times.
Fade the lure
Do the same motion, but without the treat in your fingers. She will probably still follow you around in the circle. Click/treat for success. Repeat 5 times.
Continue to repeat the above step but try to abbreviate the motion each repetition. Over the course of the next 20 repeats or so (over the course of a few training sessions) you want to abbreviate your hand motion until it is just a finger going around in a circle.
Add verbal cue
You can add any verbal cue you want, just wait until he is giving you the trick you want from the hand signal. Simply start saying the cue at the same time as you give the hand signal. Soon your Pekingese will do the trick on either command.
The Play Dead Method
Start with your Pekingese in the 'down' position. Hold a treat in your left hand while making the gun hand signal with your right.
Say “Bang!” (or whatever you want your verbal command to be) and then gently push her onto her side with your right finger. As soon as she yields, even a little bit, click/reward.
Repeat the last step 10-20 times. Over the course of the repetitions, move your left hand farther away until you are reaching for the reward only after you get the behavior.
In addition, try to make your right hand signal “smaller” as soon as your pup seems to get the idea and starts to volunteer the behavior.
Practice this trick over the course of several sessions, 10-20 repetitions each. As your dog expects to get a reward, start adding a pause before rewarding, letting her give you even more of a “belly up” look before click/treating. This is called “raising your criteria” and will begin to “shape” the behavior to the final look you want.
The Sass Method
Trigger the bark
There are few tricks cuter than teaching your Pekingese this easy trick--to speak on command. Before you get started, pay attention to ways that you might trigger her to bark. If there are known triggers for a bark, take advantage of those to get the bark on command.
Do what it takes to get your Pekingese to bark – usually you can get a bark by getting excited or barking at her. Once she barks, click/reward.
Quickly repeat the trigger to try to get another bark. Immediately click/reward and repeat 10 times.
Add the verbal cue
Add the verbal cue with the trigger so that she will bark after the cue. “Are you sassy?” is an example of one possible cue to consider.
Once you have the bark on command stop rewarding any barks that were not asked for.
By Sharon Elber
Published: 03/15/2018, edited: 01/08/2021