Tips & Training

Wonderdogs Tricks & Training

How many tricks can your dog do? Shake hands? Roll over? Sit? Well today you’re in for a treat as we have Dr Katrina Warren, celebrity vet and author, sharing the secrets of one of her favourite tricks featured in her brand new book Wonderdogs Tricks & Training.

Most of you will probably know Katrina as the former co-host of Harry’s Practice, or for her role on Animal Planet’s Housecat Housecall. But most recently Katrina has teamed up with renowned trainer, Kelly Gill, to bring us all their tips and tricks of the trade. Based completely on positive reinforcement techniques, the Wonderdogs Tricks & Training handbook starts with the simplest of tricks – such as sit, drop, stay – and works all the way up to counting, spelling and advanced TV/Film tricks. Dogs love to learn and reward training is a great, fun way to spend time with your pooch, and bond, while also improving their behaviour and providing the mental stimulation they often crave. Wrapped up in a handbag sized book, this guide is perfect for training your dog the basics plus a little razzle dazzle for fun – no dog owner should be without it. Suitable for puppies right up to old grandmas like Soda, this book proves you can teach old AND young dogs new tricks! And to get you and your pooch started today, we’re going back to the Wild West for a trick called ‘Bang!’

This is where you point your fingers like a toy gun at your dog and say ‘BANG’. Your dog falls to the ground and plays dead. This trick is a modified fun version of ROLL OVER, but far more impressive because you progress to teach your dog to do it from the SIT position so there is a lot of movement. This is one of Flynn the Wonderdog’s favourite positions, he even likes to sleep like this. He also knows that small children like to pat him on his chest while he’s in this position.

• A dog who knows how to SIT, DROP and STAY
• Treats

1. Begin with your dog in the DROP position and reward him with a treat.

2. Hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose. Slowly move your hand towards his shoulder with his nose following and reward him with the treat. Repeat and eventually your dog will find it easy to lie on his side. Reward him for being on his side.

3. Now hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose, and slowly move your hand towards his shoulder, then continue to move your hand over his back until he is lying on his back with his legs in the air. You may need to help support him in this position to start with. Say ‘BANG’ and then reward him with the treat.

4. Keep practising until your dog naturally rolls onto his back from the DROP position when he hears you say ‘BANG’.

5. Start including a hand signal of fingers pointing like a gun.

6. Once perfected from the DROP position, commence from the SIT position. Go slowly as he needs to SIT then DROP then ROLL OVER.

7. The final step is asking him to hold the position when he is on his back with his legs in the air. This is just a matter of asking him to STAY when in this position. Be sure to reassure him with verbal praise.

8. Always release your dog from being ‘dead’ with an ‘OK’.

9. Once your dog has mastered the trick, you can progress to teaching him to respond from a standing position, always using the same hand signal and verbal cue.

HANDY TIP: The key here is to take your time and not expect your dog to put it all together at once. Do several sessions just learning to ROLL OVER before you consider progressing. Even the smartest dog can get confused when asked to do several movements at once.

Voila! And just to prove that this trick CAN be done at home, here’s a pooch I prepared earlier…She’s only a few more fun-filled training sessions away from a gold star:

Wonderdogs Tricks & Training is available now at all good book stores. Copies are also available through the Animal Welfare League with profits from those sales going towards animals in need. Click here to buy and help a pooch at the same time! Happy Training!

Pick of the Week

  • Life's A Puppy Party by Heather Hunt

    Time to pawty! Celebrate your dog all year-round with the ultimate guide to party-planning with your pooch - featuring creative recipes, DIY costumes, toys and more.

Show Comments +Hide Comments -

Comments (8)

8 responses to “Wonderdogs Tricks & Training”

  1. we tried to teach this one to maya and it just wasn’t happening! we’ll try again, so happy for the step by step here 🙂

    • Good luck Amy! It took a few sessions with Soda and as you can see she still doesn’t believe in playing dead for more than a millisecond, or raising her back legs (maybe she believe her character’s back legs were injured in the blast?)…Also sometimes when I say ‘Bang’ she gives me a high five!
      But the main thing is she loves doing it 🙂

    • PS. Make sure you send in a photo when you get it happening!

  2. Kaitlin says:

    The wonder dogs are so cute! I love chocolate border collies!

  3. Kelsey Smith says:

    Such a good book and it is so easy to use and follow. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Karyn says:

    Love your work Soda – clever girl! I should try some of these tricks with Mia…..considering food is her favourite thing in the world I think rewards will work well 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pick of the Week

  • Life's A Puppy Party by Heather Hunt

    Time to pawty! Celebrate your dog all year-round with the ultimate guide to party-planning with your pooch - featuring creative recipes, DIY costumes, toys and more.