cool tricks to teach your dog

20 Cool Tricks to Teach Your Dog: From Beginner to Star Performer!

Teaching your dog tricks isn’t just about entertainment. It’s a fun way to bond, while giving your pup mental stimulation. Dive into these 20 cool tricks to teach your dog, suitable for every stage!

20 Cool Tricks to Teach Your Dog

1. Sit


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A cornerstone in canine education, the “Sit” command is more than just a basic trick—it’s a building block for many future commands and behaviors. To teach this, have your dog stand in front of you. Hold a treat close to their nose and slowly move it upwards. As the dog’s head follows the treat, their rear will naturally lower to the ground.

As soon as they sit, say “Sit”, give them the treat, and shower them with praise. Over time, your dog will associate the word “Sit” with the action, making it an invaluable command for control and safety in various environments.

2. Shake/Paw


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Shake or Paw is not just a delightful trick but also an intimate way for your dog to interact with humans. To teach this, kneel in front of your seated dog. Show them a treat in your hand and give a gentle tap or nudge to their paw. Most dogs will respond by lifting their paw.

As they do, say “Shake” or “Paw”, give them the treat and praise generously. As they get accustomed to the command, you can introduce variations such as “High-five” or “Wave”, further showcasing your dog’s learning prowess.

3. Lie Down

Lie Down

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A versatile and calming command, “Lie Down” is crucial for moments when you need your dog to be still. Start with your dog in the “Sit” position. Hold a treat close to their nose, then slowly move it down to the floor, and pull it along the floor away from them. Your dog will naturally lie down while following the treat.

The moment their body is on the ground, say “Lie Down”, reward them with the treat, and provide affectionate praise. This trick provides the foundation for many more advanced tricks and can be particularly useful in outdoor settings where control is crucial.

4. Roll Over

Roll Over

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More than just an amusing trick, “Roll Over” offers physical exercise and mental stimulation. Begin with your dog in the “Lie Down” position. Hold a treat close to their nose, and slowly guide it towards their shoulder, making them turn their head and, eventually, roll their body over.

As they complete the roll, say “Roll Over”, reward with the treat, and offer enthusiastic praise. This trick might require patience as some dogs may initially be hesitant to roll, but consistent practice and positive reinforcement will make it a fun routine.

5. Play Dead

Play Dead

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Mimicking the act of playing dead, this trick is always a hit in gatherings. Start with the “Lie Down” command. Introduce a unique cue, like “Bang!”, while using your hand to gently guide the dog to lie on its side with its head down, resembling a “dead” position.

Remain still for a few moments before giving the release command (e.g., “Okay!”). Upon release, reward the dramatic act with a treat and effusive praise. Theatrics can be enhanced with added pauses or a playful tone, making it a dramatic addition to your dog’s repertoire.

6. Dance


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A delightful display of rhythm and coordination, teaching your dog to dance can be a hilarious and heartwarming sight. Begin with your dog standing on all fours. Hold a treat high above their head to entice them to stand on their hind legs.

Gently guide them in a circle using the treat, encouraging small hops or twirls. As they start moving, say “Dance” and playfully engage with them. Over time, add music to make the environment more energetic, and soon enough, you’ll have a dance partner ready at a moment’s notice!

7. Speak and Quiet

Speak and Quiet

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Communication is key, and teaching your dog to “Speak” (bark on command) and then to be “Quiet” can be incredibly handy, especially if your furry friend is naturally vocal. To teach “Speak”, wait for a moment when your dog naturally wants to bark, like when the doorbell rings.

Right as they bark, say “Speak” and reward them. To teach “Quiet”, after they’ve barked on the “Speak” command, wait for a pause in their barking. The moment they stop, even briefly, say “Quiet”, and give them a treat. With consistent practice, this can help in managing unwanted barking and teaching them vocal control.

8. Take a Bow

Take a Bow

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A theatrical gesture to signify the end of a performance, this trick is an elegant way to conclude any set of tricks. With your dog standing, hold a treat near their nose and slowly move it down towards the ground. Their front paws should stretch forward and their chest should lower, while their rear remains up.

As they achieve this stretch, say “Bow” and reward them with a treat. The pose mimics a play bow dogs often do naturally, and now, on cue, it can be their signature sign-off after entertaining an audience.

9. Fetch Specific Items


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Teaching your dog to fetch specific items taps into their natural retrieving instincts and provides both mental and physical exercise. Start by selecting an item, say a toy, and consistently using its name (like “ball” or “teddy”).

Play with the item, saying its name aloud to get your dog’s attention. Once they show interest, throw the item a short distance away and encourage them with phrases like “Get the ball!”. When they return with it, praise them profusely.

Over time, you can introduce more items and teach them by name, enabling your dog to differentiate between them. This skill can evolve, and soon you might have a dog who can fetch your slippers or even the morning newspaper!

10. Close/Open Doors

Open Doors

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Teaching your dog to operate doors can be both impressive and practical. Start by attaching a soft tug toy or a piece of cloth to a door. Encourage your dog to grab and pull or push it. Use commands like “Close the door” or “Open up” consistently. Initially, you might have to demonstrate by slightly moving the door or guiding your dog’s actions.

Whenever they make an effort, reward them. With repetition, they’ll associate the action with the command. Just be careful with this trick; it might mean your dog realizes they can also open doors when they want some private time!

11. Jump Through a Hoop


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Jumping through a hoop is a classic trick that’s a favorite at dog shows. Begin with a large, soft hoop, placing it directly on the ground. Entice your dog to walk through it using treats or their favorite toy, accompanied by a command like “Jump” or “Through the hoop”.

As they get comfortable, gradually raise the hoop off the ground. Always ensure the jump is safe and not too high for your dog’s size and fitness level. It’s a dynamic trick that showcases agility and confidence.

12. Weave Through Legs


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Teaching your dog to weave through your legs as you walk can look intricate but is built on simple steps. Start by standing with your legs apart and luring your dog through them with a treat, using a command like “Weave” or “Through”. As they follow the treat and move through your legs, praise them.

Once they’re familiar with this, try taking a step forward and luring them through the next leg. Over time, as they get the rhythm, you can increase your walking speed and they’ll weave back and forth as you move. This trick requires coordination from both you and your dog, making it an engaging dance of sorts!

13. Stand on Hind Legs

Hind Legs

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This trick not only looks endearing but also gives your dog a bit of gentle exercise. Begin in a quiet environment to reduce distractions. Hold a treat slightly above your dog’s head, enticing them to stretch upwards. As they stand on their hind legs, use a command like “Stand” or “Up.”

Be sure to keep sessions short initially to avoid strain. Reward your dog when they manage to stand, even if it’s just for a brief moment. As they get stronger and more balanced, they can hold the position for longer durations. Always ensure their safety, making sure they’re not overstretching or losing balance.

14. Touch


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The “Touch” command is fundamental and can be a stepping stone to other advanced tricks. Begin by presenting the palm of your hand close to your dog’s nose. Most dogs will naturally sniff or nuzzle it. The moment they touch your hand with their nose, say “Touch”, and reward them with a treat.

This trick can be a way to redirect their attention, especially in distracting environments. Once mastered, you can advance this by teaching them to touch various objects or specific locations.

15. Find It

Find It

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This game stimulates your dog’s keen sense of smell and their natural hunting instincts. Begin with a treat or a favorite toy. Show it to your dog and let them sniff it. Then, while they watch, hide it in an easy spot, like under a cushion. Say “Find it” and encourage them to search.

Celebrate enthusiastically when they discover the hidden object. As they get better at the game, you can make the hiding spots more challenging or even hide the item without them seeing, turning it into a full-fledged treasure hunt!

16. Go to Your Place/Bed


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This command is a blend of obedience and comfort, ensuring your dog has a dedicated space in the house. Start by pointing to the spot or bed and leading your dog there with a treat or toy, using phrases like “Go to your bed” or “Place.” Once they’re on the spot or bed, reward them.

Over time, they will associate the command with that specific location. This trick is especially useful during meal times, when guests arrive, or when you need them to retreat to a safe space.

17. Carry a Basket


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This trick transforms your pet into a helpful companion around the house. Introduce a lightweight basket to your dog, allowing them to sniff and familiarize themselves with it. Place a treat or toy inside to encourage them to pick it up.

Once they grip the basket, use commands like “Carry” or “Hold.” Initially, they might just lift it for a moment, but with repetition, they can learn to carry it around. Eventually, you can instruct them to deliver items, turning a simple trick into a functional task!

18. Ring a Bell

Ring a Bell

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Incorporating a bell can be both entertaining and practical. Begin by showing the bell to your dog and ringing it. Many dogs will naturally sniff or paw at unfamiliar objects. The moment they touch the bell and produce a sound, say “Ring” and offer a reward.

With consistent reinforcement, they’ll understand the associateon between the action and the sound. This trick can evolve to signal various events, like wanting to go outside or indicating playtime.

19. Back Up (or “Reverse”)

Back Up

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Teaching your dog to move backward on command is not just impressive; it’s also a useful maneuver in tight spaces or when you need them to give way. To start, stand in front of your dog in a narrow space or corridor, which naturally limits their movement options. Holding a treat in your hand, move slowly towards them.

Most dogs will naturally move backward. As they do, use the command “Back up” or “Reverse”. Praise and reward them for every step they take backward. With repeated practice, they’ll learn to back up even in open spaces without needing you to approach them.

As an advanced progression, you can also guide them to back up in a straight line or between two objects, showcasing their agility and precision.

20. Give a Hug


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One of the most endearing tricks, the “hug” is a heartwarming display of affection, where your dog places their paws around you or an object, mimicking a hug. To begin, sit on the ground to be at their level. Hold a treat between your chest and chin, enticing them to reach upwards.

As they stretch up, gently guide their paws onto your shoulders. As they do this, use the command “Hug.” Ensure they feel secure and not unbalanced. Reward and praise them for even short durations of the hug.

Over time, they can also be taught to hug other objects like a stuffed toy or a cushion. This trick, besides being adorable, also fosters a deep sense of bond and trust between you and your furry friend.


Every dog, whether a simple sitter or a show-stopper, can enjoy the thrill of mastering a new trick. As you explore these cool tricks to teach your dog, remember the journey is as enriching as the applause!

AboutCorinne Switzer

Corinne is an avid reader and takes a keen interest in conspiracy theories. When not busy with her day job, she likes to indulge the writer in her and pens columns on a wide range of topics that cover everything from entertainment, healthy living to healthcare and more.