Some dogs can learn anything from balancing a ball on their nose to riding a bicycle. However, not all tricks are like riding a bike; without practice, your dog may forget! By practicing your dog’s tricks in a multitude of different situations, you can not only keep his knowledge sharp while showing off his new tricks, you can teach him to pay attention to you while otherwise stimulated by his environment.
If you are a frequenter of off leash parks, trails, or dog events, you know how your dog will react exposed to those types of stimulants. By practicing the training you and your dog worked so hard on, neither you nor your dog will forget the training! By having your dog practice his training under different stimuli, not only will the training remain fresh in his mind, but it will teach him to listen to your commands in multiple different situations.
There are several ways to practice your dog’s fun tricks while you and your dog are out of the house and your dog’s environment changes. While in line at the bank or food trailer, while people may be coming up to you and your dog to greet him and pet him, you can use this opportunity to not only entertain and impress people but also to show your dog that although other people are giving him attention, you are the one he needs to be listening to.
You can practice your dog tricks while taking a walk around the neighborhood, where your dog will be tempted to investigate the yards he can smell but not get to from your own yard. By bringing his focus back to you, not only are you cementing his tricks into his mind, you are reminding him that at any point you may require him to listen to you and obey his training commands. This will keep your dog not only keen on his tricks but safe; if you were to call to your dog and you needed him to heel right now, perhaps to get out of the way of a speeding car, there is a better chance he will immediately respond.
You can practice your dog’s tricks in almost any situation, and you should! Practice your dog’s tricks at the park, in the house, with other dogs present, with children present, and in crowds. The more stimulants your dog environment has, the better of a place it is to practice his tricks and obedience skills. When you let your dog know that whatever may be going on in his immediate surroundings, no matter how distracted he is by interesting smells or tempting things to play with and chase, that he needs to be obedient at all times. This will both strengthen the pack relationship with you and your dog and give you and your dog a chance to show off all of the hard work you have put into training from obedience to entertaining tricks!