Silly dog trainer, tricks are for kids

May 5th, 2010
By Eric Letendre

“Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won’t
buy the wag of his tail.

– Henry Wheeler Shaw

Jenna was a sweet, shy border collie mix that had
recently been adopted by a very nice family.

They had called me in because Jenna was very shy
and nervous around kids and stangers. They were
not sure if they were going to keep her because
she would not allow the children to come too close.

She was in no way aggressive, just very nervous
and would try to run away.

I went to their house on a Saturday afternoon to
meet Jenna.

We did not know her background, but you would guess
that she did not have the best upbringing. The shelter
had found her roaming the streets of Newport, RI and
had no idea who the owner was.

I spent a few minutes with Jenna and then turned to
the owners and asked for some treats. The father of
the house was excited to get started on obedience
training and asked what command we were going to
start with first.

When I informed him that we were going to teach his
new family member some tricks I could see the slight
look of disbelief on his face.

“Tricks?” he asked.

I asked him to trust me and that it would all make sense
in a little while.

We then spent an hour teaching Jenna to give paw, wave,
sit pretty and roll over.

I asked them to practice and informed them that I would
be back next week. I also asked them to have their kids
their with some friends. With a puzzeld look on their
faces, they agreed.

The following week they had done their homework and the
kids were there.

I asked all of them to sit around and watch mom and dad
do a training session with me. Every time Jenna did any
trick all the kids would start to clap and cheer for

Within minutes they wanted to help out.

I asked the owners to do tricks everytime someone comes
over the house. I added that doing tricks is fun, and
strangers to Jenna will have the same response to her
that the kids had.

Within a few weeks Jenna was a differnt dog. They kept
teaching her more and more tricks and her confidence
contiuned to improve.

The last time I saw her, she was a much more confident,
stable dog.

Teaching your dog tricks is one of the best ways to build
confidence and bond with your dog. Trick training is much
more positive than obedience training and everyone loves
to watch your dog do a trick.

Here is a video that I did on teaching your dog to do the
roll over trick.


All the best,


Post By Eric Letendre (560 Posts)

Eric Letendre is a professional dog trainer from the United States and has been training dogs for over 20 years, teaching regular, average, every-day owners all over the world how to get the training results they want as fast as possible. Eric is also the author of numerous reports, the E-Book “101 Ways to Improve Your Dog’s Behavior,” “The Amazing Dog Training Man Book,” and produced and stars in his DVD “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer.”

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4 Responses to Silly dog trainer, tricks are for kids

  1. Karry Kensilla says:

    Tricks are a great confidence builder for the dog and a wonderful ice breaker for people, too! When we moved to a new neighborhood with our 1 year old Mini Aussie, our dog became an instant hit with the kids because he could play hide-and-seek. We incorporated obedience with tricks to have some fun. The kids would ask him to Sit-Stay and they would go find a hiding place in the yard. When they called ‘Ready’ that was his cue to find them. Great search/rescue exercise for my dog and it has generated some lovely neighborhood goodwill. Everyone knows me as “Copper’s Mom”.

  2. Miriam says:

    Hey, Eric. We really enjoy your Emails, I find them to be very informative and really help to understand what our little Lexie is thinking. Lexie is a tiny, black, Cocker-Pinscher mix, so the vet guessed. My mom found her abandoned at the dumpster and we took her in at age 2 months. Lexie is now 7 months old, very spunky and very smart. She knows sit, down, stay, paw, roll over, speak, jump and dance. BUT we can’t get her to stop barking! I understand that small dogs bark more than big ones and I know it’s her way of showing she’s “big” too but our garden is right on the street and Lexie barks at everyone that walks by. It’s not so nice for the neighbors to hear a dog barking at all hours of the day. Any suggestions? We’d appreciate all the help we can get! Thanks!


    Im very impressed with the tips from the amazing dog training man. I have a bull mastiff and the bond he has with me and my wife is unbreakable. She just taught him “give me paw” its just amazing how fast he picked up the trick but its very simple.

  4. Den McKay says:

    This is amazing. Although I have been a dog owner for many years I have never seen anyone train a dog so quickly.

    I would like to attempt to train my dog to rollover but unfortunately where i live it is totally flat for miles.

    What is my alternative?

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About the author…

Eric LetendreEric Letendre is a professional dog trainer from the United States. For more than 20 years, he has been developing dog training techniques that have worked for dog owners all over the world. Eric operates from a home office or a laptop while traveling and draws on his experience and passion for dog training to show others how to develop a dog that is truly “Man’s Best Friend”.

Eric is the author of numerous reports, the E-Book “101 Ways to Hack Your Dog’s Behavior,” “The Amazing Dog Training Man Book,” and produced and stars in his DVD “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer.”

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