Doing Tricks Unasked


New Member
Hey I have a bit of a problem with training my puppy and am open to all advice.
My puppy is 6 months old and I haven't been traininer her for long but she can sit and stay, lie down, roll over, shake, bow and play dead.

The problem is that sometimes when i ask her to do something like 'sit' she gets over excited and goes does all of her tricks straight away. I try to mix commands up so she doesn't fall into a routine but sometimes if i ask her to sit she might decided to lay down because she thinks that that's what I'm going to ask her next.
Other times I ask her to do a certain trick and she does a completely different one (she often confuses play dead with roll over).

When she does this i don't reward her and get her to stand up and ask the command again.

Am I doing the right thing?
Even though I'm not rewarding her is the still a chance that she is thinking this behaviour is right?


Experienced Member
That is a very common "problem" that almost every dog does. In actuality, it's not that much of a bad thing, especially if you do free shaping with your dog. In free shaping you actually want your dog to offer you behaviors and have them thinking on their own.

However, once your dog learns the commands better, most of this frantic behavior stops. I also find that it helps once you work more on stay. You are doing a great thing by varying the order commands are given to keep the dog guessing and by not rewarding a behavior if you ask for a different one. I sometimes give a mild aversive like turning my back to the dog if he does a different behavior, or I sometimes just stand silently and wait for him to correct himself. But again, a lot of the frantic "do every behavior I know" stops once the dog really really knows the commands and they only get rewarded for what you say.


Experienced Member
It's a good idea to teach a dog a 'wait' command, by that I mean pause listen for the command, and only do what I ask, no voluntries .
It looks like your dog may have a self-control problem ( like mine), they get so eager to perform they don't think to listen for what you want.
If you try asking "wait" ( and reward the wait for a week or so ), then ask for the trick, eventually, if your consistent about it, they will offer to wait, and listen for your request.

You could think of the wait as a trick in itself , although to us , a wait is a desired behaviour which you can use in many situations.


Experienced Member
My dog does this all the time.
I think the best thing to do, is just to ignore it, if she does a trick instead of another one you asked. Just repeat the command patiently. :)
The other problem can be that you give her body signals you are not even aware of. Watch out for this, dogs are really good observers! :) Like when you want her to sit. You say the command, and you bend down a littlebit, like when you were teaching her to lay down. A dog usually listens to, and understand a body signal better than a command.


Experienced Member
ignore the incorrect offered behavior. move; walk around and reset the situation. then recue. you can also reset and try a different trick other than the one's she's offering. it seems she's offering behaviors enthusiastically but doesn't understand your cues. are u using voice or hand cue or both? you might try a hand cue since dogs do perceive them more easily.

keep both ur hands still otherwise and or them behind your back when using verbal cues. it could also be that you are not realizing that ur moving hands or body when cueing and the dog is seeing the physical cue and disregarding the verbal. they generally take the first cue and disregard the later ones and often prefer physical over voice.

so try standing stock still, don't bend, move, hide ur hands, and put clicker and treats behind ur back. you might find out the root of the problem that way.

i see a lot of people not knowing they are bending over when asking for a sit or tiptoeing when asking for a stay. get someone to watch you. good luck!!