How Long After T


New Member
Hi guys.
First of all, I love this forum..I've spent quite a while reading and today I finally decided to register!

Anyways, I have very recently started teaching tricks to Charlie, my dog. He seems to be learning real fast, we got a perfect paw-shake and high five in just a couple days.
Now I wanted to try the "play dead" trick, but every time we start he keeps offering me his paw. I don't really want to say no or else he might forget how to do it..

I was wondering, how much time should I wait before teaching him to play dead? Or is there anything else I can do to "restart" the learning process?


PS: sorry for messing up the thread's title..


Staff member
He's offering the paw, cuz that's what worked before... He's learning to offer behaviours. What he's doing is an "extinction burst"

I would just wait him out. Sit down with the treats and clicker and just wait... eventually he'll quit offering his paw, and just look at you. when he does, ask for a down (if he knows that, if he doesn't just lure him into a down) then click/treat, so he learns that he doesn't only get rewarded for the paw. then start working on the play dead (however you are choosing to do it)


Staff member
PS I can fix the title if you want, just tell me what it's supposed to say :)


Honored Member
WELCOME!! I agree with you, Asgozzi, i never use the word "no" during tricks training, either. I just silently ignore wrong moves,
and CLICK/TREAT correct moves, or, attempts in correct direction.

For play dead, i did use some luring,
causing my dog to follow a treat to get into position....


Honored Member
Staff member
There's a variety of ways you can approach this. The more tricks he learns, the more he will offer because he knows that those tricks get him rewards. But the good news is, that's okay! You simply ignore those behaviors when they aren't asked for. He won't forget these tricks, he'll just offer something different or sit and wait for you to show him what you want. :) He's learning to think for himself a bit, and that's great! :)
So, as for ways you can approach this, you can sit and wait for him to quit offering anything, then work on your trick.
You can capture this trick--does he ever lay in the position you are wanting for the "play dead" trick? If so, you can click and reward when he does this randomly during the day, and he will start offering this behavior more often because it gets him treats. Then you can add a cue to it--"Play Dead" or "Bang!" or whatever you're wanting to call it.
You can use luring. Lure him into a down, then lure his head to the side, kind of towards his hip. He doesn't have to completely roll on his side or back yet, all he has to do is follow your hand back some. Click and reward for him just turning his head to take the treat. Gradually hold your hand a little closer to his hip, and then a little past his hip towards his other side so that when he reaches around to grab it he falls over. YAY! Reward with several treats in succession or his favorite treat. If you want his "dead" to be on his back, you're going to work towards getting him to lay on his side, then still lure slowly towards his hip(the hip he's lying on) so that he starts to roll over a bit. Here your clicker timing will need to be fairly good, because he will probably go into a full roll over pretty quickly so try to click when he's on his back if this is the kind of "dead" you're wanting. Also with this method it's kind of tough to paw at your hand when his head is following a treat off to the side.
Hope this helps and good luck! Glad to hear you are enjoying the site. (y)