Honored Member
Well, first off, lemme point out, i swiped this whole idea off another thread from another poster, i'll go back and edit this with proper credit. I only altered it slightly...

I say "Buddy can actually recognize cards. Now, Buddy pick a card."
I have Buddy pick out a card from a fanned out deck of cards. Weirdly, THIS was hardest step for Buddy, to get only ONE card. Fan the cards WAY out, and i only use about 10 cards. He's got it now--ONE card!:msngiggle: I used a clicker. The very SIGHT of the clicker helps Buddy realize, "Ooh! I hafta figure something out, she's got that clicker!"

Then i show everyone the card Buddy picked out. I even show it to Buddy and say, "Now Buddy look at your card, memorize it..." (card is in my RIGHT hand when i act like i am making Buddy study the card).
Then i shuffle them around a bit, and show two 'wrong' cards, "Is this your card?"and Buddy does not react. Finally i show the card Buddy DID pull out, "How about this one?" and he barks!

This trick is in three separate steps. Teach only part at a time, in THIS order
#1--Teach dog to pull out 1 card.
#2--Teach dog to bark at cards in your LEFT hand held in certain way.
#3---Teach dog to NOT bark at cards in your RIGHT hand. ( super easy part)

I hold the cards i want zero bark to in my right hand. I have trained Buddy to only bark for cards in my LEFT hand.

I also hold the cards differently from hand to hand, to make it easier for Buddy. In my RIGHT hand, i have my finger tips on top and bottom edge of card. =NO BARK. You must specifically train/teach the dog to NOT bark, to this cue. (Hold the cards in right hand as described, ask the ? and CLICK AND REWARD for no reaction). HOw easy is THAT!!?:msngiggle:

When i hold the cards in my LEFT hand, i have index and middle finger over bottom front edge of the card..Oddly, no one ever notices THIS is different, that i have switched hands to elicit the bark.

Training him to NOT bark, to the cards in my right hand, was easy enuff, i QUICKLY click-and-treat before he does ANYTHING. I TAUGHT THAT STEP LAST. after i had trained him to bark at LEFT hand cards. This MIGHT be harder to train if you do the "right hand=no bark" step first....

Training him to bark at left hand cards, took a bit longer. At first, of course, Buddy offered many behaviours, pawing it, nosing it, tried to bite it, etc etc... i sat there waiting. He became a lil frustrated, i could see it building up in i myself said "WOOF!" right when i could see the tension building up in Buddy, wait til you can see your dog is getting frustrated, THEN try to elicit a bark....and when i said "WOOF!" he barked as well! i QUICKLY click-andtreated that BARK

...and repeated it, to help him clarify, "Oh, i bark for this, i get a treat!":dogbiggrin: You could also use any cues that make your dog bark, like "wanna beer?" or "speak!" and eventually remove THAT CUE.

Also, if Buddy is unsure, or hesitating to bark, he will watch my face, if i lift my brows, he barks to the cards. Some folks may use that eyebrow lift as the cue: it's time to bark.

iT'S CUTE, AND BUDDY LIKES IT. Be sure you point out to your friends that the trick is Buddy RECOGNIZES the cards, weirdly, some :yworried:folks don't appreciate that is a "trick" unless you point this out in the beginning of trick. They want an actual card trick!!!:msngiggle:


Honored Member
Staff member
LOL this is a very cute trick that has been on my to-do list for so long. Mud's never ever been a barker, so vocal tricks aren't much of an option. My plan is just to teach her to pick a specific card. Card tricks are neat for the dogs and for audiences. ^^ Glad to hear you and Buddy are making such great progress! Keep it up and good job. You'll have to get us a video. :)