Too eager to please - does wrong tricks

Posted by abchak1
Dec 28, 2011
My dog picks up new tricks extremely fast so I like to teach her new things every few weeks in our daily training sessions. Half the time, though, I'll ask her to do something simple like "down" and she'll immediately roll over or play dead, because I taught her those tricks by first asking her to lay down. For example, I'm revisiting "stay" and teaching her to crawl, both of which don't really work if she's rolling around all excited, haha. How can I keep her focused on what I want? It's the worst when I ask her to do a few tricks before getting her dinner. I won't even say anything and she'll start doing every trick she knows, as fast as she can. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Dec 29, 2011
Hi abchak1,

It great that your dog learns new tricks so quickly and she is eager to please you.

One thing I want to suggest is not to make her do tricks before her meal. When it is her meal time and her meal is right in front of her, it will be difficult for her to concentrate on tricks and all she is eager is to get to the food as soon as possible. For the same reason, I don't like to show treats when I make my dog(s) do tricks. Of course I give them treats when they perform the tricks but it is too distracting for them to see treats. I use a treat pouch, which is like a shoulder bag.

Also, using hand signals along with verbal commands would help your dog to know better what command you are giving her each time.

Anyway, I would give myself and my dogs enough time to perform each trick better and make sure they understand clearly what I expect them to do now.

It is also a good idea to make a list of the tricks as she learns and revisit old ones from time to time so that she doesn't get confused.

Good luck
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jan 4, 2012
Hi there,

I agree that hand signals mixed with verbal commands are a good idea for reinforcing specific tricks/commands - its probably a good idea to try this.

My own dog did a bit of this - I'd say down and he'd immediately roll over. My solution was to say "no", take a step back, have him come to me again, and re-try. After a few "no"s and redos, he usually got it. There were a few times I'd have to stamp a foot to get his attention and give his "listen" command - but he usually got it. Its all about patience

Hope this helps somewhat - both should help, even when training at mealtimes, which is when I had issues with my dog too haha