Dogs are a good provider of joy and companionship. This is especially true if you teach them a lot of tricks and commands. Whether you teach your dog to sit, roll over or catch a ball, any trick will surely bring a smile to your face every time you see your pet perform a trick that you taught him. But some tricks are easier to train than others.
Dogs love performing tricks, because they like to please their owners (according to latest studies). Their enthusiasm to learn new tricks makes it easier and enjoyable for us to teach dogs different kinds of commands and stunts. However, not all dog tricks are easy to teach, and there are also different ways of training dogs to do tricks on command.
Using proven psychological tricks is the most common way to train dogs today.
Usually, you can train a dog with a simple combination of dog training treats, verbal praise and (optional) use of a dog clicker. You'll want to begin slowly with simple tricks like ‘sit', ‘lie down' and ‘stay'. Here are a few quick videos and step-by-step guides to get started:
Once your dog gets used to performing some of these simple tricks on command, it will be easier to teach him more advanced feats using the same basics of dog training method.
Below I have 25 difficult dog training tricks that will test your patience and your dog’s temper. The benefits are not only for your pleasure and entertainment, however. Attempting to train a dog these tricks will help your canine develop and improve his brain function. You will also be encouraging agility, strength and alertness in your dog.
Training Dogs Hardest Tricks and Commands
Some Facts about Dog Training
Before we delve into the serious business of determining the top twenty five hardest tricks and commands to teach your dog, let's discuss dog training itself so that you understand why some tricks or commands are more difficult for some dogs or for their owners.
Are you aware of these interesting trivia facts about dog training?
- Dogs easily understand simple commands like stay, sit, heel, stop, and roll over. The easiest tricks to teach a dog are roll over, play dead, shaking paws, and catching objects.
- Female dogs learn more quickly than male dogs.
- According to surveys, around 3.2% of dog owners are not serious about training their dogs.
- Around 19% of puppy parents are spending less than 30 minutes each week training their dog.
- The easiest dog breeds to train include the German Shepherd Dogs, Golden Retriever, Labrador, Poodle, Rottweiler, Boxer, Doberman, English spaniel, Border Collie just to name a few (here's a full list of smartest dog breeds).
25 Most Difficult Dog Training Tricks
(from easiest to hardest)
Based on the above facts, the degree of difficulties when it comes to dog training your pooch apparently relies on the breed, sex, and the dog owner themselves. Here is my list of hardest tricks and commands to train dogs.
We start with the easiest tricks (out of all the hardest ones) and work our way down to the most difficult tricks to teach a dog.
1. Bark or Speak
While dogs bark naturally, teaching him on cue is a little bit frustrating. Very often when you make him sit in front of you and teach him to bark by using the ‘speak' command, the dog will offer silence and just stare at you.
There is a tendency for the dog to confuse this command with ‘stay'. Teaching him this command is a five step process and needs to be done in 3 or 5 seconds intervals. You'll need to repeat the process many times until the dog understands the ‘wait' command.
3. Army Crawling
Crawling is basically a dog instinct, especially if he wants to get something under the furniture. It is when you want your dog to crawl several lengths for no particular reason that makes it harder.
This sounds like an easy trick, but it needs to be taught with the right technique as the verbal command is not enough for the dog in many cases.
5. Sit Pretty
This trick can be easy to teach, but you need to ensure that your dog is healthy. Sitting pretty is quite strenuous on the back legs when done very often and for a few minutes at a time.
6. Go and Fetch
This is a popular trick, but in some cases the dog will not cooperate. It is especially frustrating if you are training a stubborn dog like the Jack Russel Terrier, Afghan Hound, Rottweiler or Shar Pei.
7. Stand Tall
Teaching this trick can be quite easy, but difficult if you’re dealing with older dogs. If your dog is healthy enough, this trick will develop strength and stamina.
8. Say A Prayer
It is a fun trick for me, as my dog looks so cute sitting and placing his front legs and dropping his head to signify prayer. The relatively difficult part was getting my dog accustomed to this position.
9. Walking Backward
The difficult part of this trick for me is to always walk beside my dog during the training process. However, this trick is a good bonding moment between you and your pet.
10. Open The Door
Your friends will be impressed when your dog knows how to open the door. However, not all dogs are easy to train with this trick as factors like size, height, and handle type will matter.
Dancing is ideal for small dogs, but bigger breeds can learn too! To learn this trick, a dog needs patience and gentle motivation from their owners. It is also frustrating to teach when your dog is overweight, as their hind end may not support dancing movements.
Teaching dogs to salute will really test your patience. It will take a lot of time and repetition, not to mention plenty of enticing treats.
13. Collect Garbage
This is a good way to change the way your dog thinks about garbage. It will be a very repetitive process, and it may be difficult to get your dog to throw the garbage in the bin instead of eating it at first.
14. Moving Hoop Trick
You have to teach your dog to jump inside the hoop first. This trick really challenged my dog training skills, as it requires me to pass the hoop from right to left and left to right.
15. Wipe Your Paws
This one is quite difficult, and you'll need to choose the right doormat. If a mat is too rough, your dog may not want to wipe his paws on it.
16. Watch Me
This trick is to make your dog ignore other people and focus only on you. As I experienced, dogs tend to have a short attention span. Thus, it takes hand motions at the same time to make the dog understand when I say ‘watch me'.
17. The Bang Performance
Why is it so hard? You need to teach your dog the following tricks first: crawl, limp, and play dead. My biggest challenge here is that I have to ensure that the dog is familiar with the three tricks mentioned.
Handstands are quite tricky, as your dog needs to build muscles to perform this feat. Like other difficult tricks, this is much hard for bigger dogs.
19. Peak A Boo
Here's another trick that requires many repetitions in order for dogs to understand the essence of the stunt. It's not so much difficult as it is time consuming and frustrating for impatient trainers.
20. Play Piano
This one can be quite tedious, as I have to start with short sessions until my dog realizes that he'll get treats for pressing the keys of the piano. Gradually, you'll be able to work your way up to longer sessions.
The hardest part is to make your dog gets used to the noise of the skateboard. In addition, you need to also allow the dog to get used to the object by inspecting it on his own terms.
22. Fetch a Drink From the Refrigerator
This trick is difficult as you need to train your dog first to exercise control over food as he might end up eating what’s inside the refrigerator instead of fetching you a drink.
23. Use The Toilet
You have probably seen many videos showing dogs using the toilet. This is an excellent trick for dog owners with mobility problems. It takes a very long time to teach this trick to your dog.
24. Pick Up Toys
What makes this trick very difficult for me is that I need to use intense determination to teach this trick to my dog. It is a tedious process considering that you throw the toy, use hand gestures to guide him to the toy box, offer a treat, and repeat. Now, what if your dog drops the toy? Start all over again.
This is probably the hardest trick to teach a dog, as you need to find the right song that will motivate him to sign. This is going to be especially difficult to teach a quiet dog. If your dog howls or barks often, it may be easier to teach him to sing.
READ NEXT: 30 World's Most Talented Dog Breeds