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Tricks To Teach Your Dalmatian

Your dog is happily ensconced in your home, a valued family member. He knows he is loved. He is well behaved but full of energy and life. You are proud of him and his manners.

But there is something missing.

He should be able to do more, be more. Aunt Hazel's miniature poodle can perform all kinds of neat and wondrous tricks, entitling Aunt Hazel to look down her nose at Spot.

Well, here is something you can do about that. Here are some tricks to teach your Dalmatian:

• You can teach your Dalmatian to "speak" on command. With a little patience and a lot of barking on your part, your pet will eventually speak when prompted. A prompt can be a certain question or a certain word, just make certain it is the same prompt every time. The shorter the prompt, the better.

• You can teach your dog to play dead just like Aunt Hazel's poodle did. Once your dog has the command "down" in his vocabulary, it is a short jump from there to "play dead." Show him what you want by pushing him gently onto his side. Correct him immediately every time he tries to move. Patience is a most valuable asset in the dog trainer.

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• Fetching his toys may take a little longer as some dogs fetch but keep on running, never bringing toys or sticks back to their owner. A long training leash may be very helpful here. Again, patience is the key. Once the dog understands what you want, he will be proud to be doing what you asked of him. Never forget to reward him for his accomplishment.

• Jumping through a Hula Hoop is one of the greatest tricks to teach your Dalmatian. Slowly introduce him to the hoop and lead him through it with a small treat, first in one direction, then the other.

Then, making it fun, raise the hoop a little and have Spot jump through it. This is a rather fast trick to learn, and so much fun, especially when, at a later time you expand Spot's involvement with the hoop, like running through it while it is being rolled along the floor. Top that, Auntie Hazel.

• Another one of the tricks to teach your Dalmatian may be the "roll over," This trick goes almost hand-in-hand with the "playing dead" trick. When Spot is on the floor, ready to play dead, tell him to roll over, then manually roll him gently over. He will soon get the idea and do it on his own, for a price. Never forget the treat!

Just pick and choose which tricks you want to spend time on and which ones will show off your wonderful companion at his best -- as well as taking off a little glitter from Aunt Hazel's miniature poodle's stardom.

Don't work with Spot for more than ten or fifteen minutes at a time, but work every day, Remember, their attention span is quite short. Longer training time will break their attention and it will cease to be fun.

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