One of the easiest tricks to train your puppy is to spin around in a small circle. This trick is so simple that even puppies as young as 12 weeks old can pick it up in just a few sessions. Another perk? It is just cute as a button to do as a trick to impress your friends with how smart your puppy is.
When you take the time to start training your puppy from an early age, you will help him learn the basics of training communication, making it easier to teach more complex behaviors when he gets a little older. In addition, starting training early improves his focus, a skill that will serve you for the life of your dog.
In this guide, we will show you three easy to follow methods to teach this easy trick in a snap, along with some great tips for keeping your training sessions fun and effective no matter what behaviors you are looking to teach your young dog.
When training tricks, the fastest way is to use food rewards. This is because you can repeat the rewards at a very high rate, keeping your puppy focused on the task at hand. Don’t worry, once the new behavior is fully learned you can decrease the use of food motivators over time and switch to praise and other forms of positive reinforcement.
When choosing the right food to use in your training session, keep in mind that you only need a tiny bit to reward. A pea-sized piece of chicken or cheese is plenty. You can even use pieces from your puppy’s regular kibble mixed with a few tasty treats in most cases. Of course, if your puppy is a free-feeder (not recommended) then she may not be willing to train for kibble since she can have it for free any time she wants.
Keep in mind that your puppy probably has a very short attention span. Our methods assume that you will be training this easy trick over the course of a few sessions. It is critical that you quit a training session before your puppy gets bored or distracted. Better to start over next time than to make him dread training sessions.
Here are a few more tips to make sure your training sessions are successful:
Always train new behavior in a quiet and low-distraction environment. This is critical to keep his full attention. You want to be the most exciting thing around when training your puppy to spin around (or any other trick or behavior).
Keep things positive. If you are in a bad mood after a long day at work and think you may have trouble with your patience, it is not a good time for a training session. Your puppy will pick up on your mood, so bring the best attitude to the table when it is time for learning.
Reward often, don’t punish. While there is a time and a place for punishment, teaching tricks and/or new behaviors is not one of them. Focus on setting your puppy up to be able to get her reward and ignore any failures. This way she will feel confident to try new things, critical for shaping desired behaviors and perfecting tricks.