Black and white dog with an old tennis ball in its mouth

How to train your dog to do tricks

Dogs have been considered human's best friend for centuries, and for good reason. They’re loyal, loving, and fun companions who will quickly become a member of the family. In addition to being great company, dogs can also be incredibly smart. They can be trained to perform tricks, follow commands, and even behave in specific ways. 

Some dogs are even smart enough to have jobs! Service dogs are specially trained to assist people with disabilities, and police dogs can help sniff out banned substances or help find missing criminals. While these jobs require years of training, just about all dogs are smart enough to learn basic tricks and commands, so let us help you get started!

What are the smartest dog breeds?

There are a lot of different ways to measure intelligence in dogs, so it's hard to say definitively which breeds are the smartest. However, there are some breeds that tend to do well in intelligence tests and are known for being particularly smart. Here are some of the smartest dog breeds:

Border Collies 

Border Collies are descendants of landrace sheepdogs once found all over the British Isles and are widely considered to be one of the smartest dog breeds. They excel at obedience and agility trials and have a reputation for being very easy to train.


Poodles are another breed considered to be very intelligent. They're known for being quick learners and do very well with basic to intermediate tricks and obedience commands. No wonder they’re one of the most popular dog breeds in Australia!

German Shepherds 

German Shepherds are a very popular dog lauded for their intelligence. They're highly trainable and are often used as working dogs in a variety of different fields such as military, police, tracking, and search and rescue. 

Golden Retrievers 

Golden Retrievers are known for their many positive qualities, including their intelligence, being fun-loving and gentle by nature. They can be quick learners and tend to be very obedient. They like to have fun and can be quite goofy at times but will listen to their owner (mostly!).

These are just a few of the breeds that are considered to be among the smartest dogs. However, it's important to remember that all dogs are individuals and can vary widely in their intelligence, regardless of breed.

How to train your dog to sit

If you're like most people, teaching your dog to sit is one of the first things you want to do. It's a fundamental behaviour that can make life with your furry friend much easier (and safer). Fortunately, sitting is a relatively easy behaviour for dogs to learn. With a little patience and some tasty treats, you'll have your pup sitting in no time.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Start by getting your dog's attention. This can be done by calling their name or offering a treat.
  2. Once he is looking at you, say "sit" in a firm voice and hold a treat near his nose.
  3. Slowly move the treat backward and up, so that his head follows it and his bottom starts to lower into a sitting position.
  4. As soon as his bottom hits the ground, say "good dog!" and give them the treat.
  5. Repeat this process until your dog is consistently sitting on command.

      Once your dog has mastered the basic sit, you can start adding distractions, like other people or animals walking by, to make sure he still listens to you even when there are things going on around him. With a little practice, your dog will be sitting pretty (literally!) in no time.

      How to train your dog to stay

      Now that your dog has learnt how to sit, you can start teaching them the stay command. This is a great command for when you need your dog to remain in one spot, whether it's while you're getting their food ready or putting on their leash. 

      Here's how to do it:

      1. Start with your dog in a sitting position. Say the word "stay," then take a step back and hold up your hand with your palm facing out.

      2. If your dog remains seated, give them a treat and praise them lavishly. If they get up, say "no" firmly and put them back in the sitting position.

      3. Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog as they get better at staying put. 

      4. Once your dog is staying consistently, you can again start adding distractions like walking around them or throwing a ball near them. If they break their stay, simply say "no" and start again from step one. 

      It seems simple, but if you practice these simple steps a few times a day, your dog will soon be a pro at staying on command!

      How to train your dog to roll over

      Now that you have the basics down pat, it’s time to add a little bit of fun. Rolling over is a fun trick that your dog will love to show off! 

      Here's how to do it:

      1. Start with your dog in a sitting position.

      2. Place a treat in front of their nose and slowly move it towards their ear, letting them follow the treat with their eyes.

      3. As they turn their head to follow the treat, start moving it down their back.

      4. Once the treat is at the base of the spine, they should start to roll over onto their side. You can help guide their body through this step to help them get the hang of it.

      5. As they do so, give them the treat and lots of praise! Positive reinforcement and treats really help dogs get the hang of new tricks.

      6. Practice this a few times each day until your dog gets the hang of it and is ready to start rolling over treat-free!

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