Trainer reveals the secret to improving your dog's health and strengthening your bond — and this one is super fun!

 Woman high-fiving her pug outside.
Woman high-fiving her pug outside.

There’s no two ways about it: dog tricks look cool.

Consider the sense of pride and achievement you might feel after training your dog to do something that looks skilful or clever, or how impressed you’ve been when a friend has shown you the tricks they’ve been working on with their own pup.

However, while dog tricks might look good, there are plenty of other benefits, too. From keeping pups healthy regardless of age to improving your bond with your furry friend and encouraging them to play with some of the best dog toys, tricks come with plenty of positives.

And, certified dog trainer Melissa Goodman of Mission Pawsitive has been explaining just why dog tricks are so beneficial in a recent Instagram post here, mentioning things that hadn’t even occurred to us before!

Goodman spent a week working with a dog, Lola, and explains in the video that she was working on pivoting on a front foot target, something she describes as good for mobility, balance, building rear-end awareness, and being a good foundation for more advanced tricks. It also helps with loose-leash walking and navigating tight spaces.

Lola is also recovering from knee surgery and needs daily physical therapy each day, which is “basically trick training,” according to Goodman.

During her time with Lola, Goodman also introduced a rear foot target, which has many of the same benefits as the front foot target, but also “gets Lola to move her knee in a specific way to strengthen it and improve her mobility.” She shows footage of Lola backing up on cue, which she says can come in handy, and starts out as a rear foot target before becoming more advanced.

Goodman continues, “I like teaching these skills to dogs of all ages, but especially with puppies and senior dogs.” They help young puppies build coordination and physical development, and help improve mobility in senior dogs, too. Here are eight signs your dog is getting old and what you can do to help them that might come in useful.

She finishes, “Plus, these tricks are cool and are another way to stimulate your dog’s brain while bonding together.” Mental and physical stimulation are both extremely important, helping to get your dog thinking and keeping them physically active, and reinforcing for your dog that they can trust you.

So, if you’d like to teach your pup some more cool tricks, but aren’t sure how to get started, here are 32 quick and easy tricks to teach your dog. Or, if you’d like to take things back to basics, here are five of the most important dog commands and how to teach them.

Frisco Forest Friends Stuffing-Free Skinny Plush Squeaky Dog Toy
$11.83 from Chewy
This adorable trio of forest friends toys includes a fox, raccoon and a squirrel each containing a squeaker and crinkle paper inside for maximum fun!View Deal