Dog trick: Give us a hug
Start with your dog in a sit-stay. Say “Give us a hug,” energize the dog by waggling a food lure in front of its nose, and then, slap your chest like a gorilla. It is wise to alternate “Give us a hug” with both sit-stays and down-stays. Thus, the dog learns the difference between enthusiastic and controlled greetings. This wonderful trick is a simple solution for puppies which like to jump-up. First, we train the puppy to sit when greeting people, and then, we may teach the adult dog to jump-up, but only on our terms, i.e., only on cue, when the time is convenient, and we are prepared to enjoy the dog’s advances. For example, probably only certain doggy-people will invite the dog to jump up, when they are wearing dog-proof clothing. (The dog-disinterested may be instructed to say “Steady,” “Off,” “Back-up,” “Go to your mat” and “Sit.”) On returning home, instruct your dog to down-stay. Formally greet the dog, and then change into dog greeting clothes, and once prepared, ask the dog to jump-up and hug. Now, jumping-up (something the dog likes to do) becomes a reward for a good stay-greeting. Training a dog to shake hands on request is a similar ploy to combat an annoying pawing habit.
Dog trick: Bow
Instruct your pup to stand, and move the food lure down to the ground to come to rest a few inches in front of the pup’s front paws. The puppy will lower its forequarters until elbows and sternum touch the ground. With some pups it is necessary to place the other hand underneath (but without touching) the pup’s belly to prevent the hindquarters from collapsing into a down. The playbow posture is a solicitation to play – an ‘atmosphere cue’ which communicates that subsequent behaviors are playful. This is a wonderful trick for children. If a child can successfully entice the dog to bow, the dog is saying it likes the kid and would like to play, and as such, it is unlikely the dog would be frightened or irritated by the child’s antics. Also, “Playbow” is a wonderful instruction to give to your dog when it meets other dogs.