Easy Dog Tricks for Beginners

As the saying goes, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

Whoever said that didn’t know what they were talking about.

When you spend a little quality time with your dog, you can get even the most stubborn dog to behave how you’d like. It’s just important to keep in mind how you train them.

If you’re looking for ways to train your dog, here we have some easy dog tricks for beginners. If you’re just starting out, here’s a great resource, and even advanced trainers would do well to remember the basics.

Easy Dog Tricks for Beginners


Your dog probably already showers you with kisses, but it is a worthwhile trick for a dog to learn. One of the benefits is that you can tell your dog to kiss you when it’s convenient, not whenever they want to.

Start with something sticky on your hand like a Post-it note. Place it in front of your dog’s face and when they go to it, treat them. Continue to treat them each time they go to the Post-it. You can even switch hands.

Eventually, you can move the Post-it to your face. Again, treating your dog when they give you a little nuzzle. Throw in the command “kiss” and eventually your dog will be kissing you only when you want and not immediately when you come in the door each day.


Sit is one easy dog tricks for beginners that many people start with. It’s an easy trick for you to reinforce since you get so many opportunities to catch your dog in the act.

First, just hang out with your dog. When you see them take a seat, give them a treat or a pet. What you’re trying to do is reinforce the behavior by giving them something they want. Treats are a great reinforcer, as is attention from you. Just be sure to note what your dog likes and give them that.

Each time your dog sits, give them a treat. Soon you’ll be able to add the verbal command, “sit” each time your dog sits. They will begin to associate the command with the action. The idea is for your dog to then finally sit once you say the command.

Sit can get tricky sometimes because not all dogs get it right away. They might not understand why they were given a treat in the first place and may start to whine or beg for another. It’s just important to remain consistent. Each time they sit, they get a treat. Eventually your dog will figure out that sitting is what gives them the treat.


Heel is a great trick to learn if you leash walk your dog. To heel is the action of your dog walking directly next to you instead of behind or ahead of you.

Why teach your dog to heel?

Because it helps you establish yourself as the “leader of the pack.” It also makes for easier walks. No more trying to keep up with your dog. They will walk at your pace.

To train your dog to heel, bring treats with you on your next walk (preferably small treats). Then, call your dog and point to the side you want your dog to walk on. When your dog follows the direction, say “yes” and reward them with a treat. As your dog masters this, challenge them by walking in difficult patterns that “confuse” them, and ask them to heel. Pretty soon, you can forgo treats, and just verbally reward your pet.

According to the American Kennel Club, “‘Heel’ is traditionally on your left side for obedience and rally competitions.”


Probably the most difficult part of teaching your dog to speak is getting them to bark. That’s step number one. Many dogs will bark if you ring the doorbell, so that’s a great place to start. Ring the bell, and when your dog barks say “speak.” be sure to treat them immediately.

Continue doing this and giving the command speak each time they bark. Eventually you’ll be able to just give the command to have your dog bark instead of trying to find a way to make them bark.

If your dog just never barks, take the time to figure out when your dog makes any sounds. If they give little excited yips at times, use that. Eventually, you’ll be able to elicit a louder or stronger response by being selective when you treat your dog.


Before learning to give paw, your dog should know how to sit properly. Once sitting, treat your dog when they lift their paw. Take the opportunity to treat them even if they only lift their paw slightly. Once they learn the command, you can always work on getting the paw higher.

After your dog has completed the trick a few times on their own, you can add the command “paw” or “shake.” Use whichever command is your preference, but only select one as you don’t want to confuse your dog.

Once your dog is lifting his paw at your command, you can work on how high they lift it. Be more discerning and only treat your dog when they meet your expectations.

The Key to Mastering Dog Training

When training a dog, it’s easy to get frustrated when things are not going the way you want. Just keep these tips in mind when you’re feeling frustrated.

  • Be Consistent – Remember, your dog will do pretty much whatever you want. The most important thing for you to do is notice when they do! If you are not consistently rewarding them, they are going to learn as well as they can.
  • Have Realistic Expectations – If you’ve never trained a dog before, or if you’re trying to teach them a multistep trick, take your time. If they’re not getting it, adjust your expectations. It might take a bit longer than you thought, but your dog will work to please you, so keep it up!
  • Be Generous – The best way to learn something new is through positive reinforcement. Make sure you are reinforcing behavior you want and not rewarding bad behavior. Just remember that there are more rewards than just treats. Sometimes a cuddle works just as well.
  • Have Fun – And always remember that teaching your dog tricks is not about showing them off to friends. It’s about spending quality time together. So even when you’re getting frustrated, take a break and just have some fun with your friend.

Hopefully these easy dog tricks for beginners has given you the motivation to help teach your dog.

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