Any Suggestions?


Experienced Member
Hey all!

So I've been looking through the tricks part of the forum at all the crazy things people have managed to teach their dogs, and I'd really love to get started.. But the problem is, I can't think of where to start. Lego pretty much only has her basic obedience: come, sit, stay, down, and shake.. She knows how to roll over, but that's still a work in progress as I have to lead her with a treat still. I'd really like to start by learning how to wean her from rolling over while being led by a treat, into just doing it on a hand signal? She's picked it up for every other thing she knows, but just not this particular trick yet. Also, are there any fairly simple tricks (ie. not handstands or anything :p) that I could start out with her, and how would you guys go about training it?

Also, do any of you have any brain games you like to play with your dogs?

The two tricks I'd really like to do are the crossed paws and roll in a blanket, but she'd have to have her roll over and "hold" down first.. Soo for now I'm just looking for something relatively simple to work on for this week, and maybe start working on another one in a day or two and see how she does! So basically, any suggestions would really help - Keep in mind that she is a tripod dog, so anything involving the use of one leg takes a biiit more time in helping her work out the balance :)

Thanks guys, this will really help!


Honored Member
//"I'd really like to start by learning how to wean her from rolling over while being led by a treat, into just doing it on a hand signal?"//

certainly! but first,
Lego has to be able to perform the cue well, then add in the cue. I myself always add in cue from first lesson on, while my dog is still learning the trick,:rolleyes: but i hear that is wrong thing to do, but, that's how i do it. I didn't know any better at the time, and my dog and i are both accustomed to this by now.:ROFLMAO:

so do continue on luring the dog with the treat, and then, once Lego firmly understands the behavior you want, so that Lego is now rolling over fairly quickly and obviously now understands what is expected,------then you add in the cue, and fade the treat, so that Lego is now following your empty hand, and give dog a treat AFTER the trick is done.
Then you fade your presence right beside the dog, a bit at a time, so dog can rollover, even if you are standing up, etc.

there is a great video on that somewhere, i'll try to locate it.


Honored Member
//"The two tricks I'd really like to do are the crossed paws..........."//

welllllllllllllllll, if i were you,
if i were a beginner dog trainer,
with a dog new to tricks training, i'd start a written list of tricks i want to train,
but, i'd save "cross paws" for later on.
Ohters may disagree, but, it's a hard trick for *some* dogs, imo.

the reason i say this, is, some of the best trainers on this site, some of them struggled to get their dogs to understand "cross paws".:eek:

so i'd save that one, for later, so YOU can build up more confidence in your own ability to train tricks,:D so your dog can build up more positive "ey, this stuff is easy" ideas:D about tricks training, before you try a trick that *may* be frustrating for you, or for your dog. I rate "cross paws" as one of the hardest tricks MY dog ever did.:rolleyes: Of course, YOUR mileage may vary!

It's not impossible, that you could teach "cross paws" easy-cheesy, right off the bat,
but, imo,
"cross paws" is one of the harder tricks(imo) that some dogs DO find difficult to master. So maybe mayyyyyybe save that one for later on. See, i think the hard thing in "cross paws" is-------------- that the same behavior the dog IS rewarded for on week one,:)
is now ignored :( on week two............. when you are trying to get dog to cross OTHER paw. My dog got HONKED OFF :cautious: about that part, for real!!!:ROFLMAO:

there's only about a bazillion OTHER tricks to work on while you get your "dog training skills" all honed!!!


Honored Member
I think, one trick i found easy, and my dog LOVES LOVES LOVES this trick, is "Pick up Toys"
also called "clean up" or "put your toys away" trick.

Even your beautiful "tri-pod" dog could master this trick, i think. (Lego is able to walk, right?)

my dog LOVES this trick, and it is impressive trick to watch, imo. This is far and away, my dog's favorite trick, he thinks it is a game. It's also great trick for right before you want to vacuum.:ROFLMAO:

almost ANY trick------------- there are MANY ways to teach it,
but, in the link below, "reply #5" is how i did it, and my dog got it RIGHT AWAY, and LOVED IT. Was super easy to teach, starting with toybox right under dog's chin.


Honored Member
This trick, is also pretty easy to teach, and ppl watching it seem to coo quite a bit: (dog poses, turning his head to show his "good" side) I"m always surprised how much ppl seem to think this trick is especially cute, they really carry on about it:rolleyes: .

another easy trick, is smile on cue:
(i probably wouldn't teach both smile, and turn his head, on same week, just to make it easier for dog to distinguish the tricks)
i *think*, of allllllll the tricks my dog knows, this one is MY personal favorite:


Experienced Member
Wow thank you for all the help! This gives me lots of mini projects with Lego for the next week or so, and should be super helpful for helping keep her mind active, so I really appreciate it :)

I definitely think I'm going to save the cross paws one for later.. After reading all the frustrated threads on that matter, I'm definitely leaving that for a later date! I think for now I'll focus on I've always trained all of my own dogs, and always thought I was pretty good at it... Annnnd then I got Lego and figured out that my last dogs were all total overachieving flukes haha. My previous dog, a jack russell, learned every trick he ever knew in under 5 minutes each and never forgot.. Lego is a taddd more stubborn, but it keeps things interesting ;) .. But when I was training my jack russell it was moreso just basic obedience and maybe a few tricks here and there (dance, shake, sit pretty, etc).. Never anything too far beyond that, but I'd really like to start with Lego and see just how far she can go! I think for now the main focus will be working on her roll over, and then maybe one more thing..

I don't use a clicker personally.. Not for any partiular reason or that I have anything against clicker training, to be honest it's moreso that I just stuck with whatever method I was using originally. I guess I'm a creature of habit that way haha. I might do some research and look into it though, because I'm noticing alot of these tricks require the precision of a clicker it seems!

I think I'm going to have to sit down today and make a big list of what I want to teach her in the next little bit, and start with the easiest ones.. But I'm loving that "put your toys away" one, she definitely could use some training there :p

Oh, and Lego can most certainly walk! Just certain tricks take her a bit longer to master than most dogs because she has to learn to compensate.. When I first started teaching her to shake a paw, she fell flat on her face 3 times in a row, and then refused to try again for the day. Her coordination and balance in general are way better now though, so most things aren't an issue for her.. But I'm betting a trick like 'dance' 'beg' or that elephant turn would be quite a challenge - if not impossible :S . Believe it or not though, she's usually one of the fastest - if not THE fastest, dogs at the dog park every time we go - with the exception of those darn speedy border collies and malinois ;) .. Though I could only imagine how speedy she'd be on 4 legs! Annd since I can't help but posting videos.. Here's one of her latest trips to the dog park :)
*Sorry about the screen size, it was taken on my boyfriend's iphone and for some reason came out like this!*



Honored Member
Some brain games(not tricks):
Hidden treats: use a towel/blanket and hide treats underneath it for her to find. I use the cue, go find! You might have to "help" out at first by pointing and lifting up the towel a little bit. Once she gets the idea, you can start making it more difficult. Hide treats underneath pillows, piles of toys, or you can fold the towel and put treats in each layer.
I got a really good tip the other day, using an old pair of jeans. Tie knots in the legs and put treats in the legs and pockets. They really have to think about how to get to these then.

Sort of a home made puzzle:
Use the carton rolls from toiletrolls to put treats in. close one end by folding it in. Once it becomes too easy for them to get them out, You can close the other end. Or use something sticky like peanutbutter.

The surprise box: Take an empty carton(cereal or eggcarton) Put in treats and close the box.
To make it more difficult you can put treats in pieces of paper and put those in the box.
Here is my version of this

Note: in the other topic you mentioned you dog is destructive. So make sure you supervise!!
I don't mind my dogs to tear up the cartons, so I let them do whatever they want to get to the treats. But with the towel or jeans I will have to teach them NOT to tear it up.
But in general these are fun games for the dogs and you can sit back and watch them get tired;)

If you are handy with a sewing machine Maybe you can whip up something like this:
The Nina Ottossen treat trapper


Honored Member
I could barely pick her out from the other dogs!! Impressive dog!!! wow...

and wow, Lego does look like she does have SOMMMMME energy:ROFLMAO: , lol, rofl, oh yeah, that looks like an energetic dog!! hee hee!!


and re: the clicker, you sound just like me, when i first got here, to DTA, almost word for word!! lol. I so understand, i also felt i was doing just fine without one,
and i did not want to get chained to some gizmo,
but, others here, whose dogs could do a bazillion tricks, all egged me on to just try one.

so i did.
and WOW, does my dog ever "get" the trick much much faster.
sure does.
A clicker is how they train those killer whales at SeaWorld, too, as well as most circus animals.
I do not use it for every single trick, but i DO use it for most tricks.

Even the sight of the clicker coming out of the drawer, my dog gets tail-waggy, and very very stoked, and follows me excitedly, just wagging that tail as hard as he can, he can't WAIT to get started,
and my dog seems to "put on his thinking cap" so to speak.

Here is a lil write up on clickers from Jean, the site admin:

WHY teach a dog tricks???-------------


Honored Member
Same here. I FINALLY got a clicker after joining DTA. Shivon didn't care much for it before (when she was a puppy, that's why I stopped using it), but now, WOW she loves it!!!! It makes her learn the trick much faster!!! (like Tigerlily mentioned):ROFLMAO:


Staff member
For me, the first things I teach are nose and paw targeting, they're the basics for many tricks. teaching her to target a target stick is a great start off point for other tricks as well.

I dont think the Elephant Trick would be all that difficult for her, after seing her play and wrestle with the other dogs at the park. Her balance is great, and honestly, losing a back leg is alot easier on a dog than a front leg.

As to clicker training... I didn't believe in it either, until I came here... now I do everything with the clicker, including trying to help my dog's fear aggression.


Experienced Member
Teaching Evie to target things with her nose was so easy to teach and she loves doing it so much lol. We have now moved that onto targeting doors with her nose so she can close them for me :)

And for the record; clickers are wonderful. I don't think Evie and I would have ever managed 'bow' without a clicker.. I started training her without the clicker, just with treats and praise - taught her to sit, down, stay, rollover, paw, sit pretty...... then tried to teach her bow and hit a serious brick wall. Within two-three days of using the clicker we finally had bow! It was awesome :)


Honored Member
btw-------i just realized,
when YOU, LUckyLego, said "cross paws" i thought of the trick where the dog crosses one paw over, and then the OTHER paw over, over and over, back and forth, almost like a lil dance,
and THAT is the trick i think is kinda hard to teach, imo, for some dogs or some humans.

BUT, if you just meant crossing ONE paw over, and posing like that, well, THAT trick is not as hard, so i am sorry if had wrong idea of what YOU meant by "cross paws".


Experienced Member
Haha I was wondering about that cross paws thing actually.. Either way though, I think I'll listen to your advice and stick to a few easier ones first!

I decided to listen to the voices of wisdom though and bought my self a clicker yesterday! I pretty much spent a couple short sessions yesterday just starting with the basics.. click, treat, click, treat.. etc. Then just out of curiousity decided to make it a game.. hold out a treat, when she makes eye contact with me I click and treat, continue. In just 3 clicks she figured it out and didnt even glance at the treats anymore, just stared straight into my eyes the whole time... And for Lego that's amazing. Usually she's SO focused on the food that she gets really worked up and can't hold still, so I was pretty happy that it managed to capture her focus and teach her a bit more discipline so quickly! Today - right after I'm done posting this actually, I'm going to dig through the threads on here and find everything I can about clicker training so I can start giving it a shot :D

I dont think the Elephant Trick would be all that difficult for her, after seing her play and wrestle with the other dogs at the park. Her balance is great, and honestly, losing a back leg is alot easier on a dog than a front leg.
I might give it a shot then.. I'm a bit of a weirdo when it comes to my dog. When it comes to training her, I always assume her leg (or lack thereof :p) will hold her back.. But when we're outside hiking/running/swimming, I always tell people to stop worrying about her, that she's totally fine handling herself. I've been told that same thing though.. Back leg is way better for a dog to lose - if it has to be either. Maybe once we really start getting good at our tricks and training I can start her on something a bit more advanced like that.. Or is the elephant trick that hard to teach?

I was wondering one thing though.. After hearing all the things you can use a clicker for, I'm curious if I could use it on Lego's anxiety? It's SO much better than it was when I first got her (if I even walked around a corner and out of sight she'd start screaming and tremoring).. But one thing I've noticed is that her anxiety level rises quite a bit in the car. I don't know why, but every time the car stops - at a red light, in a parking lot, when we get home.. she gets this concerned look on her face and just starts whining like crazy. You can't get her to be quiet either. We've tried verbally correcting her, not leaving the car until she calms down, treats when she's quiet, etc.. But the whining continues. Its not a huge issue, moreso just a bit frustrating.

The other thing I was wondering if I could use it on, is her nipping. I've never had a dog that refuses to quit a behaviour like Lego does. My dad's rule when we were younger was that, if you get a pet, it's 100% your job to train/feed/clean up after it.. Nobody elses. So I've always trained my own dogs - obedience and manners-wise, and I've always been able to nip their bad behaviours in the bud. I've even had the joy of owning stubborn terriers before.. But Lego is an entirely different case. Not that she's bad, I just don't know how to get through to her. My friend has the best description of Lego that I could ever give: Lego's only issue is that she LOVES too intensely. She isn't happy just being pet, she needs to squish herself as close to you as possible and lick your face and climb in your lap... And when she gets TOO excited.. She nips peoples ears, hands and chins. I have tried every method I can think of to get her to stop.. Literally. I had a dog trainer friend tell me that she thinks its a "disrespect/dominance" thing, because Lego wouldn't dare do something like that to me, she knows that ultimately I'm in charge and so she doesn't treat me that way... But others she has no such respect for. So I was given orders to stop overriding people when they give her a command, as that teaches her to only listen when I'm speaking, and to ignore everyone else (Ex. my boyfriend tells her to lie down and she doesnt listen, so I step in and give the command and she lies down instantly). Since then I've been biting my tongue and trying to let other people, such as my boyfriend, give her commands... But that hasn't seemed to help either. I guess it also doesn't help that most people aren't as authoratative with her as I am, so maybe she doesnt take it seriously? She never full on bites, but she uses her front teeth and nibbles, and I can only assume that's not fun for anyone... I've been working on this very issue since the day I got her almost a year ago, and while it's gotten better it still hasn't stopped yet. Any suggestions?


Experienced Member
I know.. I've got about a million little issues to work on with Lego, but once again, SO totally worth it. What can I say, I'm in love with that dog :D