Small space and active dog. This is a reality for more and more people who share their small city apartments with dogs. While there is no substitute for long walks or running, there is a surprising amount you can do to keep your pup mentally and physically fit in a small space.
Tricks are the key to happy urban dogs. Trick training may once have a reputation for being the less serious cousin of dog training, but not anymore! It has tremendous benefits: improved bonding, increased dog confidence, and a closed way to exercise your dog’s brain without a yard filled with agility equipment. Trick training is also a fantastic way to build human-dog communication skills that will improve all areas of your dog’s life. Eventually, lots of build muscle tone and strength.
Tricks generally fall into two categories: physical exercise (or manipulation or interaction with a prop) and vocalization. Tricks can be fun and silly (spinning in circles and dancing) or practical (putting toys in a basket). Basically, anything your dog does – stretching, yawning, barking, or making other vocalizations – can be turned into a cue trick.
Some physical behaviors (bowing, twisting, sitting, etc.) can be very easily trained using what is known as a lure method, which involves using something of great value to your dog to guide the dog into the desired position. Over time, a keyword will be added to the behavior. Then the cue comes first and the bait is slowly set. The result? A sophisticated trick.