Why is it vital to break down tricks into small chronological steps?

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Breaking tricks into small chronological steps will help your dog remember the trick better than if you try to get it to remember all of the steps right away. Learning tricks is hard for dogs, because they don’t understand the verbal commands that we give them, or what we want them to do. Dogs need to be shown how to accomplish a trick, and then praised with affection or food rewards once they successfully accomplish what is shown to them.

You can break tricks into small steps by saying the word that is associated with the trick, such as “lie down” or “paw,” and then guiding your dog in a manner that allows her to accomplish the trick. This could be gently pushing on the dog’s back until she lies down, or lifting her paw for it, in order to demonstrate the action. Give plenty of positive reinforcement by praising your dog, even if you help her do the trick the first few times.

Eventually, your dog will associate the word you are saying with the action that she is supposed to do when she hears this word. Training your dog to do new tricks can take some time, so patience and repetition are necessary. Always reward your dog with praise or a food reward when learning a new trick so that the action is associated with something fun and happy, encouraging her to always perform the tricked when asked.

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