By Monday, July 4, 2016 19 Permalink

I was speechless when the little girl asked –

Does Harley know any dog tricks?

Dog Tricks

I told her no without an additional explanation and she seemed satisfied with my answer.

The following week we were back at the Children’s Hospital visiting old friends and making new ones when the same question came up again! #differentchild

My answer this time was slightly different –

He’s doing his only trick right now, laying here making you smile.

Dog Tricks

At the time it sounded like a classic line from one of those “Holiday Hallmark movies” but on the way home I cringed as I recalled my cheesy response over and over again. #solame

As I thought about it, if there’s a trick that Harley actually knows, he’s taught himself and does it when he feels like it.

Take ball balancing for instance…

Dog Tricks


with dogs who “do tricks.” They always capture my attention and ignite my imagination.

In fact, I’ve been known to see one, get super excited, and then dedicate almost 3 days trying to train mine to do the same thing. #unsuccessfuleverytime

Ask my husband how many times I’ve dragged PVC piping home from Lowe’s begging him to cut it into various dimensions so I can erect some contraption in the backyard, because

I’m gonna teach them how to do this trick baby, and then we’ll be on the Ellen Show and the Boys will be famous.


Nope. Not at all! #nada

I remember last year, I wanted Jaxson to jump into my arms as I stood in the middle of the pool.

Keep in mind –

  • he’d never jumped in my arms ever before #notevenondryland
  • he’d never been in a pool before

I gave it a good 20 minutes. The first few times he jumped in (no where near me) and swam right past me…

Dog Tricks

When I finally got him to associate me as his human and not a buoy, he swam up to me but crawled into my arms…

Dog Tricks

This caused me to reevaluate my jacked up plan immediately.

I realized this –

  • wasn’t going to happen in one day
  • wasn’t my pool so I couldn’t practice regularly either


I’ve been casually surfing the internet this holiday weekend looking at a few “how to” dog trick videos.

I want to start with the basics – something really, really, easy – so we can feel “good about ourselves.

I intend to share my progress with you, because I know you all care #pleasecare

My first attempt with be the “high five” trick. They say it’s one of the easiest, and I promise to provide video footage once we’ve mastered this little maneuver…

Dog Tricks


would really like to know if you’ve had any success in teaching your dog tricks., If so – #sellusyoursecrets. 

If you can relate to this post. Or if you’re like me – loving a “trick-less dog” then let’s train together.

When it comes to dogs, tricks, and sticking to it – for me – it takes a village Pet Community!

Thanks for stopping by – Have a safe and Happy 4th of July



  • Emma
    July 4, 2016

    Mom loves seeing dogs do tricks, but we aren’t much for training them. We both do high five and shake. Bailie has the big trick, roll over, and that covers it. Coming when called could be a trick for us, but we are not reliable, LOL! We do our dog sports and are satisfied with that. Not every dog has to do tricks.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 4, 2016

      I’m hoping to perhaps teach one or two Emma. That’s about all. Hand shake and maybe (and this is a big maybe) the roll over thing LOL May have to ask your Mom how she taught Bailey 🙂 Hope your enjoying your 4th of July

  • Monika & Sam
    July 4, 2016

    Personally I liked your first response. Therapy dogs DO make people smile. Maybe next time say he reduces blood pressure, a lot of the hospital staff would think that’s an amazing trick.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 4, 2016

      You’re absoDOODLEtutely correct Monika – no disagreement here. But to the child, I think they were looking for something else LOL I would like to think teaching one or two tricks could be great mind simulation as well as bonding time for us. We’ll see. Does Sam do any tricks? Hope your enjoying your 4th of July

  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    July 4, 2016

    Check with Jan K over at WagnWoof Pets – she taught Luke to do the high five.

    Me? I love watching a dog do its repertoire of tricks, but I never taught my girls any. And now with my school work, I don’t have much time to devote to it. Plus I have to start training Ducky to accept a muzzle. Thank goodness there are some excellent videos on YouTube to guide me on that!

  • Amanda
    July 4, 2016

    High five and shake are great intro tricks to learn, and they always bring lots of smiles! But my favorite (especially for fluffy butt doodles) is “crawl!” It’s so cute!

  • Rebekah
    July 4, 2016

    I thought your response to the child was perfect. It made my heart smile.

  • Lindsay
    July 5, 2016

    I started teaching the boys real young, just after they came home. Had them pee pad trained I. A week and by about 4 months, they were both doing sits, downs, shake a paw (both), high five (both) and then they both can twirl like little circus dogs. My friend’s bichon will play dead – you point a finger at her and say BANG and she slowly falls over like she’s been shot. Lol!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 6, 2016

      Playing dead is so way above my pay grade – I wouldn’t even begin to try that one. High five is about all I think I can do. But we’ll see.

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    July 5, 2016

    I once joined a group for people who wanted to learn dog tricks. After the first day, I left the group. I thought they meant hi-five and things like that. Nope.

    My dogs know sit, down, shake, hi-five, and kiss mommy. Scout knows “get your ball,” and both Scout and Rodrigo understand that “give it to mommy” is the start to a game.

    Not really tricks, but we have fun with them anyway.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 6, 2016

      I’m going to be so freaking proud of myself if I can teach just one dog – one trick, that will probably be the only one. LOL

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    July 6, 2016

    Haha. Want to send him over to our house for a week or two? Trick boot camp! I love teaching tricks. I taught one of Mr. N’s friends how to wave in a few minutes.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 7, 2016

      Can I? He comes with his own food and everything? LOL

  • Jan K
    July 10, 2016

    I think some dogs really take to doing tricks, but others don’t. I’ve had such great success with teaching Luke tricks, but the girls….not so much (not at all really!). One thing I’ve learned is that you have to have a LOT of patience, and that there are many ways to go about teaching different tricks. Sometimes I’ve had to give up on one way, and do some internet research to find a different way. For instance, that photo you shared is not the way I taught Luke to high five.
    Can’t wait to see how you make out! It can really be a lot of fun if your dog really enjoys it.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 11, 2016

      I think Jaxson has potential but my problem is separating them for any given period of time to focus on Jax. Harley would watch for a while then try to play, wrestle, hump HA! anything to distract my attempts. I’m not giving up, I just need to find a good time to work with Jaxson. Any advice on how to teach the “high-five?” Please share!

      • Jan K
        July 18, 2016

        I usually have to put the girls in another room while I work with Luke. If there are treats around there is no way Cricket is going to be left out of that!
        Here is a post I wrote about how I taught Luke – I honestly didn’t remember for sure!

        • Cathy Bennett
          July 18, 2016

          Thanks for the link to the post Jan. Someone told me to check with you for great training tips! 🙂

  • Valerie Desmet
    July 15, 2016

    I love that you visit those poor children and make them forget all about their problems! That’s so beautiful!!

    I love to teach my dogs new tricks from time to time! My brother his Border Collie is my favorite guinea pig 😀 !!
    No secret, just a lot of time and patience!!

    Love xx

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 19, 2016

      Not really sure who is benefiting more- me or the children! I love to share Harley, he’s incredibly special and always makes people smile!

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