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3 Unexpected Benefits of Trick Training | Pupford

July 25th, 2023

Filed under Podcasts

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Doing trick training with your dog can be an extremely enjoyable experience for both you and your dog.

And of course, everyone loves to be able to show off their dog’s favorite tricks when guests come over!

But there are some unexpected benefits to trick training that will make you want to prioritize doing trick training every day with your pup!

Let’s dive into it!

One quick note. Trick training doesn’t have to be crazy, complex tricks! It can be as simple as tricks like shake, roll over, speak, etc. It’s more important to try it out than get hung up on trying to learn extremely difficult tricks!


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One of the biggest challenges with raising a dog is that we don’t speak the same language. Yes, dogs can pick up and learn words, but there is a ‘language barrier’ when it comes to our dogs.

Every moment of interaction with your pup involves trying to communicate what you’re wanting and expecting from them. And of course, they often try to communicate back how they’re feeling and perceiving situations (often with body language).

A huge benefit of trick training is that your communication will have to be precise! Marking, shaping, and reinforcing tricks learned takes a high level of focus on communication.

You have to key in on the exact moments your dog does what is being asked of him or her. Trick training forces us as humans to think and communicate more clearly and effectively with our dogs.

As I’ve done more trick training with my dogs, I’ve found my ability to communicate with them much improved. It also has helped that communication become more second-nature, even when compared to just ‘normal’ behavioral training sessions!

Associated Reading: Learn how to teach a dog to nod 'yes' here.


dog sitting on hind legs | Pupford

I know that sometimes it doesn’t feel this way, but raising a dog should be fun!

Too often we get hung up on the ‘bad’ parts of our dog. It can be frustrating, feel like progress is slow, and sometimes feel like there isn’t a solution to the challenges of raising a dog.

I’ve been there!

And that’s why it is so important to do things with your dog that are fun. Doing fun things, like trick training, with your dog can unlock the positive experiences with your pup you might be searching for!

Taking the time to practice tricks can be an extremely welcome break from the ‘behavioral training sessions’ you and your dog are used to. Plus, I’ve found it can be a helpful reset for my dogs if they are becoming frustrated during those ‘behavioral training sessions’.

If you’re looking for a fun way to bond with your dog, do trick training!


person practice tricks with their dog | Pupford

While working on tricks isn’t going to make your dog stop barking through the fence right away, it can help his or her behavior generally.

So much of training comes down to practicing how we communicate with our pups. And as I mentioned previously, trick training is a great way to improve communication with your dog.

When communication improves, behavior often does as well.

With my own dogs, for example, I’ve found doing fun things like leg weaves can get them more excited about being around me and more attentive to what I’m asking. In turn, when we go out on walks that makes them want to be attentive, even if just a little bit more!

And in dog behavior, every incremental bit of success is valuable and important. Dog behaviors don’t change overnight or with one training session, but rather, gradually over time.

Practicing trick training can help your dog’s ability to listen, focus, and therefore indirectly improve their general behavior and manners.


Trick training crash course with @lunathetrickdog!

You’ll need:

“Charge” your clicker or marker word by clicking and immediately feeding your dog a treat a handful of times. Your dog doesn’t have to do anything to “earn” the treat this time! This teaches your dog that a click means a treat is coming.

Use the clicker to mark the exact moment your dog does the desired behavior, then immediately follow with a reward.

Related Reading: How to Use a Clicker to Train a Dog

🐾 3 Ways to Teach a Trick

  1. Luring - Hold a treat and your dog’s nose to guide your dog into the right position
  2. Shaping - Reward as your dog gets closer and closer to the desired behavior; your dog directs the learning!
  3. Capturing - Reward when your dog does a natural behavior on their own and put it on cue

Read our full article about luring, shaping, and capturing here.

🐾 Keep your training sessions short and end while you’re both still having fun!

Check out Pupford Academy’s Dog Trick Training classes to get started teaching your dog impressive tricks!


Trick training can be an extremely beneficial and fun way to interact and bond with your dog!

Getting started with trick training doesn’t have to feel overwhelming either. In the Pupford Academy, we’ve included 2 full Trick Training courses! Both courses are taught by Amber Aquart (CPDT-KA) and feature 20 tricks per course.

So, when you access Pupford Academy you’ll have 40 different tricks you can teach your pup, right at your fingertips! Each trick has step-by-step GIF-based instructions with accompanying text recaps as well.

Get started with Pupford Academy here!

I’d love to know, what is your favorite trick you’ve learned with your dog? Tell me in the comments!


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