We taught QQ many tricks, most of them useless. Teaching puppies tricks are a great way of stimulating your puppy mentally, entertaining them to prevent boredom, and also strengthening the bond between you and your puppy.
Many of the tricks QQ learnt are purely for fun, such as giving us his paw, doing a hi five, rolling over, doing a bow, circling, doing a figure 8 and Bang! You’re Dead!
Some of the tricks are useful though, and one I think is especially useful is “Hold It”. This is a common trick where you teach your dog to balance an item on his snout, or the top of his head. He then balances it for a short amount of time until you say “okay” and he get to tip the item off, and if it’s a food item, eat it!
QQ is pretty treat motivated so it’s usually easy to teach him tricks. But this was a little more difficult as he had to restrain himself from eating the treat immediately. I was so proud on the day he finally mastered it.
He looked so incredibly cute. He had since balanced a lot more stuff on his snout. And other parts of his body.
A reason I find this trick useful because it’s a great way to distract him. As I previously mentioned, QQ has reactivity issues when he sees other dogs when he is restrained. Sometimes, when I see another dog coming, I would quickly balance a treat on his snout and position him away from the dog. If he doesn’t see the dog, or if he is focused on balancing the treat, he sometimes will not react at all to the passing dog. This reduces his reactive sessions. Of course there are frequent times when he caught sight of the dog from the corner of his eye and all bets are off.
I find that this is also a great way to train his patience and impulse control. And sometimes, when he is hyperactive and acting up at a public place, such as the patio or when we are waiting for the something, doing this trick calms him down immensely. All it takes is a treat on the snout, and he forces himself to remain still.
We’ve not measured how long he can hold the treat or item for recently, but the last count was approximately two minutes. That’s pretty long if I do say so as a proud mama!
We also had him balancing other items.
And it won’t be spring without magnolia blooms.
All in all, I would say this is a very useful trick to teach a pup, at the very least, it makes for very cute photographs!