Easy Dog Tricks for Beginners

For first time dog owners, teaching tricks may seem challenging. However, some tricks are actually much easier to teach than you might think. Here is our list of easy dog tricks for beginners.

Owning a dog is a lot of fun. Dogs are loyal, protective and incredibly affectionate. Teaching a dog to do tricks is another enjoyable element of being a dog owner. At the same time it is a fantastic way to offer your dog some mental stimulation. For first time dog owners, teaching tricks may seem challenging. Just getting them to eat, toilet in the right place and respond to calls are your priority. However, some tricks are actually easier to teach than you might think.


When you think of easy dog tricks for beginners, teaching them to sit is the first that comes to mind. It is the perfect place to start and simple to learn. First, take a treat and hold it near your standing dog’s nose. Without moving the treat away from your dog’s nose, move your hand over their head, prompting them to raise their head and follow. Naturally, he will assume a seated position and once they do, give praise and feed the treat.

Repeat this regularly and begin adding the word ‘sit’ as he goes to sit. Timing is very important to ensure that the dog associates the word ‘sit’ with the right movement. Keep repeating this action on a regular basis and it won’t be long before your dog puts two and two together.

Kiss on cue

Dogs are often extremely affectionate and it is one of the joys of being a dog owner. Teaching a dog to kiss is not only enjoyable but also one of the most useful dog tricks. To do this you need a tasty dog treat and a small amount of patience. You simply take the treat, place it on your cheek and command your dog to take the treat, using the word ‘kiss’. The dog will soon learn to show affection on cue, with the added benefit of decreased unwanted licking.

Shake Paws

With sitting and kissing mastered, another simple trick you can move on to is shaking paws, First things first, get your dog into the sitting position. Once they are in the sitting position, take a treat and put it in your closed hand. Hold it out to your dog and let them sniff it.

With the scent of the treat, the dog should now be focused. Test this by moving your hand to one side of the dog’s nose. They should turn their head slightly and follow the hand. As you do this, their balance should change and they should lift their leg to adjust. From here encourage your dog to take the treat. Most will do so by attempting to open your hand with the now raised paw. Once they do this, praise them and open the hand and let them have the treat. Repeat as you did when teaching them to sit.

Adding the command is simple enough. Once they begin performing the initial part of the trick, begin by holding out your other hand. This time have it open towards the leg you want your dog to lift. Your dog should naturally lift their leg and touch the open hand which is when you can add your command. Once they do this, open the closed hand and let the dog have the treat. Repeat several times and they will master it in no time

Dog tricks for beginners

High Five

Moving on to the high five. This is one of many funny dog tricks you can teach your dog. As with most tricks, it starts with you holding a treat out in front of your sitting dog. Let the dog approach your hand and smell the treat. Once they realise it is there they should start licking and pushing their nose towards you to try and free it from your grasp.

As with teaching them to shake your paws, they should eventually raise their paw at it. When they do this, praise your dog and give them the treat. Repeat this cycle and begin to add the command “high five” as she is doing the action with her paw. After a few more repetitions of this, begin opening the palm of your hand to meet her paw. Soon enough you will have a high fiving dog.

Army Crawling

Let’s move on to one of the more unique dog tricks- army crawling. Start this by kneeling by your dog with your treats close. Move the treat towards your dog and encourage them to creep forward by gradually moving the treat away from them. Make sure that for each success, you praise and reward.  You might find that at some points your dog stands up. If this happens, encourage them back down and again reward them for success.

So, you have taught your dog to crawl along the floor following your hand. The next step is to teach them to do it without the treat being in your hand. Place your treats on a table and guide your dog along the ground using your finger towards it. Reward the dog once they begin to crawl across the floor and continue to practice.

The final step  to army crawling is to add the verbal command and hand signal. Repeat the previous step but this time as you point to the ground to encourage your dog to crawl, add your command. Again, praise your dog for success and encourage them enthusiastically. At the same time as adding the verbal command, you can also add a hand signal. You should now have an army crawling dog.

Roll Over

Back to one of the easy dog tricks for beginners- teaching them to roll over. Use your treat to get your dog into the down position. You now need to kneel beside your dog holding a treat to the side of their head close to the nose.

You now have your dogs undivided attention…well the treat does! Simply move your hand from his nose towards your dog’s shoulder. This should result in the dog rolling flat on to his side. Continue this until the dog is lying flat. They should roll naturally as you continue to do this. Once they are on their back, continue all the way round so that he rolls through on to the other side. Once successful, reward the dog.

As you repeat this, and your dog completes the roll successfully on a consistent basis, you can add your command in. You will need to reduce your hand motion while doing this so that the dog performs the roll based on the command only. Continue rewarding your dog for success and it shouldn’t take long for your dog to master this trick.

Stand on their two feet

For this one, your dog needs to begin in the sitting position. Of course, a treat is the key to keeping the dog’s attention! Begin by raising the treat above your dog’s head. Whilst doing this move your hand upward and towards your dog’s back. The aim here is to get your dog to move on to his hind legs and as soon as this happens, reward them. Continue this motion, whilst moving the treat higher each time. This should result with your dog standing on the tip of their toes and balancing without your help. Don’t worry if this takes a few more repetitions than other tricks as this is not a natural position for the dog to be in.


Once this has been mastered, it is time to learn how to put the hand signal in. The aim of this trick is to remove the dependence of the treat being above the dog’s head. You can do this by creating a pattern to the way that you are teaching them. So, for the first two times you perform the trick, continue to do so using the treat. The third time perform it by using your chosen hand signal. For each success, reward the dog afterwards and be particularly enthusiastic.


The final step is to add a verbal command. The easiest way to do this is to deliver your command just before your give the hand signal. With repetition and rewards the dog will soon learn to associate the command with the hand signal. Furthermore, they will associate both with raising onto their back legs. Creating a consistent pattern will set the dog up for success with this trick nicely. In time you will be able to deliver the command from further distances.

Dog tricks for beginners

These are just some of the easy dog tricks for beginners to teach their dogs. In the long term they are great exercise for your dogs and can help with overall obedience. They are also incredibly good fun for you to have with your dog and they will love you for it. One final tip when teaching your dogs these tricks. It always helps to ensure that the dogs enjoy the food and treats that they are getting as rewards. For tasty food that your dog is bound to love, why not try Encore dog food?

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