Nugget and I work diligently to perfect his doggy manners, so we both really enjoy when his training incorporates something a little more fun. Gradually we have been learning some really cute tricks to use to wow our audience! We were still working through our puppy level classes when my trainer encouraged us to participate in the Petco Unleashed Champion at Heart Dog Show. She explained that each Petco store was hosting its own obedience competition, and she thought Nugget would do really well. It was a fairly simple competition in which the dog had to trot around the ring with its handler, sit and stay, and perform its best tricks! We decided to enter the contest and work on some new adorable tricks in the meantime.
Paw is a very simple trick, and it was the first trick Nugget and I learned from his trainer. We later transitioned from “paw” to “high five”. We started by putting Nugget in a sit position and then softly picking up one of his paws while pairing it with the command “Paw”. We then treated him generously. After practicing awhile, we were able to hold out our hand and use the command “Paw”, and he readily provided his paw in exchange for treats. From there we started practicing with the opposite paw so he became used to using both paws. To transition to high five, we just switched our hand position from an open palm to an upright hand paired with the command “high five”. Pretty easy first trick to learn!
Other tricks we have been working on with the trainer include “Crawl”, “Walk”, and “Roll Over”. He learned crawl and walk very quickly, but has still been resistant with learning roll over.
I decided to start working with Nugget on some tricks at home as well. It was around Valentine’s Day, so I decided to teach Nugget to give me a kiss on the cheek! Thanks sweetheart.
Lastly, I taught him how to dance and jump through a hoop!
We were ready for our competition. I was super nervous for it even though it was a small local competition. We only had a couple of other dogs to compete against, and we were up first! After trotting the ring, sitting, and staying, it was time for our tricks! Nugget gave me a cute kiss on my cheek and a high five! The competition was tough, but it was time for the announcement of the winner. Victory was ours! We got a first place ribbon, a free bag of Purina dog food, and a purple bandana. It was such a great bonding experience for the two of us and a good test to see how we did under pressure.