Myths About Teaching A Dog Tricks.


Honored Member
I can't do puppies either. I have seen way too many ppl go through a period while raising puppies
in which they seem sort of borderline if they are ready to pull their hair out.O_o I've had relatives that i worried were going to begin to have trouble bonding to their new puppy because they were becoming soooooooo frustrated with the 24/7 work of raising a puppy.........

Oh, dawg, i LOVE puppies, i LOVE visiting OTHER people's puppies, but i dont' really want one in my home.

I like sleeping all night long,:D
and i am just too lazy to clean my floors and carpets every 2 or 3 hours for months on end.....i dislike being suspicious if other family members really DID spot that lil puddle and just pretended they did not see it.:ROFLMAO:

i get too bummed out if my best shoe or my daughter's ipod gets destroyed............... and don't care to spend eons teaching the puppy to keep his razor sharp teeth off of my toes.

Nonstop nightime whining can wear me down, and being chained to my home because the pup can not be left alone too too long is boring. I'm too lazy to teach every single thing a dog needs to know allllllll from scratch, from not pullling on the leash, to staying out of the trash...



Honored Member
So funny, all the thing you discribe you don't like, Tigerlily, I LOVE! Well, apart from the poop and pee, but I don't have carpet, but laminat floor, so that is a bit easier.
And I have a messed up timescedule anyway, so getting up in the middle of the night is not a big deal for me.
And I guess we cheated on that, because both the dogs sleep in our bedroom(Jinx sleeps in our bed)
BUT then again, maybe I was blessed with two little wonders. Cooper was practically house trained when we got him at 10 weeks old. And he slept through the night after only 4 days.
And Jinx had the housetrainig down in just a few weeks, but she was just under 8 weeks old, when she came to us. Took about 6 weeks to get her to sleep through the night.
I hated the adolescent part of Cooper, but had no, absolutely NO, problems with Jinx.
Leaving them alone, Cooper had Shane to keep him company, so he was ok with it. After just two weeks I could already leave him home alone for 2 hours.
And Jinx has Cooper to keep her company, but she could also be left alone for 2 hours after just two weeks.
I do have the privilege of working just two hours at a time, then come home, do my dogwalking thing(Jinx comes with me most of the time) and then work another two hours in the evening(by then my boyfriend is home) So teaching a puppy to stay home alone just fits my scedule.

I would take on another pup right now!! No problem;)


Honored Member
Anneke, is a good chance i am lazier than YOU are!!!:ROFLMAO:

well, not that YOU are lazy, but i am lazy! At least, raising a puppy 24/7 does not appeal to me anyway, and i think, part of that, could be a form of laziness in myself.
But, it is a good thing, that not ALL of us are drawn to same types of dogs, so the shelter dogs have better chance of being chosen by those of us who prefer adult dogs. Is good we are not all the same.


Staff member
I propose a deal!! You guys give me puppies and I'll send them back when they're about 1 1/2 old. Deal??

I love puppies. It's been so so long (Tre was the last puppy like 4 months ago) since I had a bunch of puppies around to teach and deal with. I don't mind the house training or anything else like that. I have that down to a science! Kratos was house trained by about 8-10 weeks, Jinx, Axel and Isis weren't house trained when we got them at 5 months but in about a month that was changed.

I already sweep and vaccum once a day if not more when it rains and gets muddy. Everybody gets a training session and has a run in the nursery. Kennels are cleaned while they're out. They come in to get a good brushing and are checked over. Go for a pack walk into the fields. I head off to work in the office usually bringing one or two of the dogs and the rest of the pack is left with run of the house. Another pack walk after I get home and more play time. I consider myself quite lazy with the pack. I often joke that's why I have lazy breeds instead of more hyper ones!

The one myth I always get is big dogs can't be taught the same tricks as little dogs. This is usually after seeing Kratos do something that most small dogs do. Like really? Did you not see this Mastiff doing it?


Honored Member
//"Kratos was house trained by about 8-10 weeks"//
Since most dogs do not even have the nerve endings developed for holding their urine yet, often, it is the human who is well trained. Like human infants, there is some nerve growth req'd to really have successful potty training. I have also met a human mother who said her 5 month old infant was potty trained. She looked exhausted. But still, very impressive!!! WOW.

yes, my home is pretty clean too, but the clean up of lil puddles, (or, getting the infant dog outdoors every 1 or 2 hours all day and night) is a hassel to my point of view. It's more than just sweeping, to remove the scent and stain of puppy urine.
It's a mini-shampoo of the area, every time. I do have off-white carpets in most rooms. but, it warms my heart to know, there ARE ppl out there up for the challenge of raising up infant dogs from scratch!!! YAY!!!
but not me. I guess it is good for the usually "chosen less often" adult dogs, who are soooooooo often passed over in favor of baby dogs,
that there ARE ppl like me, who strongly PREFER an adult dog. It is a good thing, that we humans do have different preferences.

Yes, that is great point, i'd heard that myth too, that big dogs can't learn all the same tricks! ha, yet another dog training myth uncovered!!


Staff member
I think it might of been a combination of both human training and dog training as well as the fact he had never had an accident in the house. I have bells on my porch door for the dogs to alert to wanting to go outside. I'm sure if I didn't get him outside with 10 min. after he rang the bells that he would've had an accident but that never happened. I've definitely trained myself that if I hear the bells I go open the door even if it's a human (:oops: I thought my neice was a dog....)

I think why I love puppies so much is because with the breeds I seem to have slow down energy wise into adulthood. So I get the energy I want then I get the calmness I want. I love my older pups don't get me wrong. Maybe it's because I love that puppies are just learning about life instead of not watching them discovery.

P.S I've been talking with a rescue about getting one of their Bull Mastiffs that they haven't been able to adopt out in almost 2 years. I'm so excited to meet him and I hope it works out!!!


Experienced Member
Another myth:

"Dogs don't like working."

Dogs looooove working! I always tell these people "You must be confusing species. Humans are the lazy bums, not dogs."
Dogs get BORED. I always tell people that working dogs are usually the happiest dogs (as long as they are not being overworked and they have been trained using a positive method, that is). Dogs think that they are playing when they work. Or earning rewards. We all love to earn rewards and work towards them, right?
Of course all dogs have their own personalities, but most working breeds do love working. The smarter the dog, the more he gets bored, and the more he wants to have a job!


Experienced Member
Just to clarify ... I had no problem with the 24/7
Zoe was toilet trained basically within 2 days -- I had her schedule down pat !
and although she was a voracious chewer - we got her on to antlers abnd chew toys right away and never had a problem with any of our stuff.

My problem was that she was just so nasty -- thats the only word for it. this cute fluffy little BC x was never cuddly, bit like a velociraptor, and went non stop crazy 20/7 and tried to dominate me every second. And I was the primary caregiver.

We had a saying -- she's really cute ... when she sleeping !

But I did want you all to know you would'nt recognize her today ! although she attacks my gentle baby Hank every moment she can she has turned into a loving, cuddly, obdeient bundle of energy thats manageable ! My cats even love her.

There is hope people !!!!! Never give up Never surrender !
but probably never again ... unless I lose my memory :)


Honored Member
//"........but probably never again ... unless I lose my memory :)"//
Amatuer, thank you for making an honest post about what raising some puppies up IS like. It is a lot of work. Yes, many humans get themselves trained to get that infant dog out the door right on time, but, it IS work, and exhausting,
compared to an adult dog who potty trains almost instantly, if he is not already potty trained. Some ppl have to set buzzers to make sure that they do not miss an outing, and yes, usually it is the human who is trained!!:ROFLMAO:
Raising a puppy, IS hard work, 24/7, for months and months, which is not to say, some ppl do not enjoy that, true enough, there are ppl who DO enjoy all that stuff!! but a lot of humans seem unaware of what that is like,
24/7, nonstop, for months and months and months.....oh, they go into it, with much enthusiasm,:D but, i have just heard so so so so many stories, from puppy owners, who sound like they are ready to pull their hair out.:confused:
Even DTA forums get puppy owners who sound beside themselves with frustration, exhaustion, sometimes even a tinge of hopelessness has set in. It does not seem uncommon to me, lots of ppl seem to go through this while raising pups. Not everyone, but LOTS.
I have watched some humans i know, and feared they were even having problems bonding with the pup,:eek: they now almost resented the nonstop work,, and felt frustration or even foolish, as it was a LOT more challenging than they had remembered from their last puppy some 15 years ago....................and certainly, many ppl are more talented at raising pups, and many ppl are more patient about it all.
but lots of ppl are not really up to the challenge, not that talented or patient to help curb all those multiple unwanted puppy behaviors. Me, i'll take an adult dog, and go from there, wayyyyyyyy easier!!:ROFLMAO:
LIke Amateur says, once the puppy is adult, all is well, now it is a great dog! The puppy times are now over!!:D
But, for those who are NOT up to the challenge, of all the multiple behaviors of puppies, there are certainly zillions of EASIER, "ready to go" adult dogs looking for a human to love them!!:ROFLMAO:


Honored Member
Staff member
HA! Anyone who claims dogs don't enjoy working has never met a Border Collie. :ROFLMAO:
I'm quite certain that Mud and Z do not see trick-training as "work" but more play, although it does serve as part of their "job." I could probably wake either of them up at 2 in the morning and they'd be ready to train and love every minute of it. Not that I would want to, lol, as at 2 in the morning I'd like to be ASLEEP! People don't understand that the dog isn't the one thinking, "Why should I have to earn this treat?" It's just the people who are watching. :) YOU don't get food for free--you most likely have to hold a job to buy that food, and if somehow you didn't have to buy that food, you still have to prepare it. If you could just have fully prepared food on hand 100% of the time and not have to pay for it, you'd have no appreciation for it.
Dogs are like professional athletes who really love the sport they play--playing makes them money, but they love doing it so it's not really like a job. It's a hobby that happens to pay really well! ;)


Honored Member
Another myth, well, it's "sort of" a myth, or misconception, about dog tricks training is,
a dog gets a trick immediately.

true, some dogs can get some tricks, right away.
most dogs don't "get" most tricks immediately, imo.
I'm not sure if THAT is why some ppl say, "my dog can't learn so-and-so trick" or "my dog can't do this." kind of remarks. "My dog can't do luring tricks.." or "My dog can't do shaping tricks"

or after remarking their dog is "not good at tricks", then they even seem surprised when their dog DOES get the trick. etc etc.

true enough, not all dogs will get or like all tricks, and some tricks ARE harder to teach,:ROFLMAO: oh so so true! some tricks are harder for some dogs.
some tricks have to "shelved" for a while, and re-introduced, and then, WA-LA, the dog "gets it" on a second go round, weeks later.:D

but, sometimes, it seems to me, that some ppl give up too fast, not realizing, that many dogs need any number of lessons to "get" the trick.

some things, like loose leash walking for example, can take a long long time to teach,
for some dogs,
not just one or two lessons.

hard to explain, but, sometimes, i think ppl give up on some tricks or methods a bit too fast, imo.


Staff member
But sometimes those AREN'T myths. Example: Mouse. Because mouse is deaf, I used to try alot of luring... she goes bananas over food, so her brain switches off as soon as she is following food, and she cant learn. But shaping? she will repeat a behaviour after only one click, she gets tricks REALLY fast, just cant follow food to do it.


Staff member
Nope, she would do it, sort of, the motions were there, but she didn't understand what I wanted from her until I started shaping. She could follow the food, but it didn't click in her brain that I wanted her to repeat that specific behaviour. Once I started shaping the trick, using the light, she got it immediately.


Honored Member
you shaped a spin???
WOW! not lured it, not "captured" it, but shaped it? wow, cool.

oh, wait, did you use a different lure, so she followed a light? That is so so cool she likes the light,:) is probably like a clicker to her? the way hearing dogs get stoked to see the clicker, is it that way for Mouse to see the light?
Interesting that Mouse can't be lured and still learn the tricks, or is unable to see the pattern or behavior being rewarded. Interesting, Sara. You don't hear about such dogs too too often, who can't "get" luring, and have to learn all tricks by shaping only. wow. and wow. that IS one unique dog you have there, Sara. Must be most fascinating to train Mouse.

I like using all different ways, but probably luring or targetting is most of the tricks, and next would be capturing. But i like shaping too, it's fine, too. but i can't imagine using it exclusively, i can't picture how i'd shape so so many of Buddy's favorite tricks. But Buddy *IS* creative, and almost always, offers up an embellishment to the final trick, if i click it, it stays.:ROFLMAO: And sometimes, he does come up with the coolest stuff ever doing that. LIke his jump over the toybox for "pick up toys" i never ever would have even thought of that one.

clickers sure do help dogs learn. so interesting about using lights for clickers . this would be fun to watch, if you ever post a video showing the light clicks, i'd like to see it.
If you can find some lighting that Mouse could be seen, and still see the light going on and off.

off topic, but i have one "light" cue, i use, at corners, at night, i turn on my lil flashlight at corners, and Buddy gets into heel for crossing streets in the dark. I did this, cuz i have fear of slipping on ice right in the street and getting run over, i want him right beside me for crossing streets, if he isn't already. I turn on the light, he "gets in" as Jean would call it. It's not quite the same thing as using the light for a clicker, but i thought of you as i was teaching this one!:)


Staff member
Nope she doesn't follow the light, I use the light as a clicker, a quick flash in her general direction, instead of a thumbs up, as her vision is quite bad as well.

She just gets soooo hyped up around food, she cant think at all, so luring just doesn't work. By keeping the food out of sight, and just shaping, she uses her little brain, and comes up with tricks all on her own. her "prey" was something she totally came up with on her own, as are many of her tricks. Her leg weave is technically luring, I guess, as she learned by following my hands for a pat, but there was no food involved :) I taught her that when she was so excited that I was home she wanted nothing more than a pat and a scratch, so she followed my hand for that. But luring for food? never gonna happen... it's like an off switch for her brain LOL

Right now we're working on a backwards figure 8 between soup cans. I've only done 4 quick sessions, and she already is backing up between and is halfway around the back... she's having a hard time turning her back to me though to go the other way... I have to do some thinking there.

Shaping a spin is easy, click for a head turn, then a head turn with a side step, then a head turn with some shoulder movement, then a head turn with some butt movement, then a 1/4 way around, and keep adding more of a turn. took mouse about 9 clicks to get all the way around, then another 10 or so to get it on cue. She's kind of a smarty-pants when it comes to getting clicks (read: food! LOL)