City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Getting Kids Involved in Dog Training

Having kids teach dogs simple commands is a fun way for your child and pet to focus and learn patience

Teaching dogs, and kids, tricks together can foster learning, patience and bonding. Plus, it’s fun!  A few simple rules apply when having your kids teach their pet new tricks. 1. Don’t admonish. Positive reinforcement, in the form of treats, is key to reinforcing learning with dogs and kids. 2. Keep it short. Overtraining leads to frustration and confusion. Spend just a few minutes a day on new tricks. 3. Praise and treat: Have your child lavish praise and a treat on your dog when they do what’s asked! Use a single word, (YES! When the pet does what’s asked.)


This is a foundational command for dogs. Have your child hold a treat in their hand and tell the dog in a firm voice to sit. At the same time, place your hand on the dog's rump and GENTLY push until he sits. Don't force him to sit as this can cause injury. Eventually, they'll lower their hindquarters on their own. When he does, give him the treat right away. Reinforce with the command word (Yes, or, Good!)


Once your dog has learned to sit, slowly start to withhold the treat for a few seconds while saying the command word (Stay or Wait). This trick teaches your dog to wait for his reward until your command. (Okay, or Release). Slowly lengthen the treat reward wait time with each new training session. 


From a sitting position hold a treat at your dog’s nose. Say “Down,” while slowly bringing the treat to the floor. Your dog should follow with his body. If not, start again from a sit. Don’t give the treat until his body is fully on the floor. The key is to draw the treat down slowly as your dog follows. Taking the treat directly between their front paws helps. 


From the sit, use the command “Paw,” or “Shake,” with a treat in one hand in front of the dog and your other hand outstretched. Most dogs won’t get this the first few times. Pick up their paw with your free hand and shake it. Use your reinforcement word, “Yes,” or “Good,” and then treat the dog. Keep repeating until the dog picks up his paw on his own.


Dogs get this trick fairly easily because they learn to “follow the treat.” From a sit, hold a treat at the dog’s nose. Say “Circle,” and then slowly move the treat in a circular motion around the dog’s body. He should follow your hand. If not, start again and do the motion slower. Eventually, you should be able to just say “Circle,” and your dog will spin around!