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Fun & Handy Tricks

Mission Impossible? How to Train "Never Ever" Behaviors

There is a popular term used on the Yahoo Training Levels group: "never ever" behaviors. This refers to seemingly impossible behaviors that the trainer thinks will "never ever" be trained. The funny thing is, they almost always end up being achieved!

101 Things to Do with a Box

101 Things to do with a Box: A Good Exercise for an Older, Suspicious, or Previously Trained Dog

This training game is derived from a dolphin research project in which I and others participated: "The creative porpoise: training for novel behavior," published in the Journal of Experimental Analysis of Behavior in 1969. It has become a favorite with dog trainers. It's especially good for "crossover" dogs with a long history of correction-based training, since it encourages mental and physical flexibility and gives the dog courage to try something on its own.

How to Train Your Dog to Find a Lost Pet

Editor’s note: You may have heard of search and rescue dogs that find people, but there are search and rescue dogs that find pets, too!

What? Train a Rabbit?

Rabbits are furry and lovable, of course; quirky and silly, sometimes; full of energy and mischief, undoubtedly; but trainable? You bet! You're probably training your rabbit without even realizing it. Is he litter-box trained? Does he come to see you when you go to his cage? Then you've already taken your first steps.

How to Teach Your Dog Left and Right

This is a fun exercise that is handier than it seems at first. You'll set up two targets at a distance, and teach your dog to go to either target—left or right—on cue. Later, you will set up similar exercises to bring more general meaning to the cues "left" or "right."

A dog that understands "left" and "right" has a terrific skill for many competition venues including agility, herding, mushing, water dog, and retrieving. This understanding would also be handy walking on trails—and service dog owners could think of a dozen or more applications for "left" and "right."