Training your dog to learn new tricks stimulates his mind, increases its ability to analyze information, all the while giving you more knowledge of how your dog’s brain works. In addition, teaching him how to do tricks is a fun way to spend quality time with your dog, which then creates a closer bond between you and your pet.
Did you know that your dog is capable of learning hundreds of words as long as you apply patience and consistent training? For example, in the following trick called “find the object”, your dog will be learning how to identify a toy or a particular item by its name from a group of items. It’s a very entertaining game that will widen his vocabulary and activate his thinking process.
Teaching Your Dog To “Find The Object”
To start, line up several objects on the floor or a low table and ask your dog to find a specific one. Start with an item that he’s already familiar with, such as his food dish or his favorite toy, whatever that may be. Place the object in an obvious area right next to two other unfamiliar, non-fascinating objects, such as a book or a small piece of wood.
Then, point to all the items on the floor or the table and command your dog to “find the dish”. As soon as he picks up the right object, praise him by petting his head and perhaps giving him a treat. If he knows how to fetch, use the command and have him bring the dish and lay it down next to you.
Do not put the treat on the dish that he brought you because that will encourage him to only pick the dish from the group of objects that you laid out.
Next, place another item on the pile, one whose name is also familiar to your dog (such as a ball). Tell him to find that item and then go back and forth between the second object (the ball) and the dish.
Don’t scold him if he picks the wrong item, and don’t acknowledge it, either. Just keep saying the command “find the object”. Once he has master the game, do a more advanced variation of the game, where objects are placed in different locations and then telling him to find it.