Clutch has an ever growing list of ticks and commands that we are trying to add to. So far he knows about 25 different commands.

Here is his latest from this weekend when he learned how to roll his ball back to us. We eventually hope to have him roll the ball into a cup, net or box.

At the moment we are working on Clutch retrieving things for me. I basically sit on the couch and drop things in the floor. When I point to something and say "take" Clutch will pick it up and bring it to me on the couch. Today I put a small basket of individual packages of chips in the floor and had Clutch pick them out and give them to me. Clutch had a problem deciding on which bag of chips to bring me so I would have to touch one bag and then he would pick that one out and bring it to me. It was a fun activity and with practice I think he will be able to select his own bag of chips to bring me.

I had him stand still so that I could get this picture.

I really want to teach Clutch how to roll over (and eventually play dead) but we are having an incredibly difficult time. He can not (absolutely WILL NOT) be lured into position and this goes for anything not just roll over. I have taught 3 other dogs to roll over in my life with no problems but I can not for the life of me get Clutch to even attempt it. If anyone has suggestion I would really like to hear them. 

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Wow that is quite the list of tricks. Could you list the trick he can do? I am trying to get Pancake to learn some more trucks but I am having trouble. I am working on shake which he doesn't get at all and I was trying to get spin since he seems to do that when I have a treat. Any advice?

Hey Justin! I want to say first that Pancake is a little bundle of cuteness! 

Shake is an easy one yet Clutch had so much trouble with it. I found what worked best was to tap his paw with my hand until he lifted it off the ground even slightly then I would say "paw" and give him a treat. Eventually when he would lift his paw higher I would grab it and shake.We still use the word "paw" for shake. 

Clutch learned spin before he figured shake out all the way. I would just take a treat and move it in large slow circles above his head and he quickly learned to follow it. Now I only have to flick my wrist in the direction I want him to spin. We use the words "spin dash" for a clockwise spin and the word "reverse" for a counterclockwise spin.

The trick list took me a little bit to put together. I keep feeling like I have forgotten things. 

1. Sit

2.Down (as in lay down)

3. Head (this is for Clutch to keep his head on the floor)


5. Paw/other paw (this works wonders in getting Clutch to put his harness on)

6. Wave

7. Be cute (this is a hand command only that really doesn't have a word associated with it. Clutch stands up and puts his paws in the air usually accompanied by a little bit of tongue sticking out)

8. Figure 8 ( Clutch weaves in and out of my legs in the shape of an 8)

9. Circle (Clutch walks circles around me until I tell him to stop)

10. Spin dash/reverse 

11. Bark (loud booming barks)

12. Speak (I wish that I would have called this "whisper" because that is mostly what it sounds like)

13. Target (Clutch will touch whatever I point at with his paw. I like to set up books in the floor and have Clutch run around and target them all when I point to them. It looks like he is running bases)

14. Reach (think sit pretty)

15. Take (this is for Clutch to remove an object from my hand or to retrieve something from the floor and bring it to me)

16. Spot (this is the command for Clutch to go to his bed in the living room)

17. Bed (this is the command for Clutch to go into his crate)

18. Center (we place a hula-hoop all over the place and say center for Clutch to lay in the center of the hoop)

19. Through (for jumping through the hoop)

20. Roll it (Clutch rolls a ball back to us)

21. High 5

22. Leave it

23. This side (I use this command on walks. It keeps Clutch from getting wrapped around trees and sign posts. One of the most useful commands that he has)

24. Over (We use this to get Clutch to jump almost any obstacle)

25. Up (to get Clutch onto the bed, couch and jungle gym)

26. Off (used to remove Clutch from bed, couch and jungle gym)

27. Come here 

28. Bro bump (Clutch will bump your fist with his nose)

29. Kiss

30. Push (Clutch will touch is nose to anything I point at. This works wonders in getting him to approach and object that he is scared of and help him learn that not everything is going to get him)

Clutch also knows other words like breakfast, lunch, outside, poop and treat.

Something you may want to do is to give a verbal command along with a physical command. For instance with sit I say "sit" and point up, for down say "down" and point down. This help the dog to catch on faster and a lot of times you can do away with the verbal and only do hand signal if you want to impress family and friends :p

Remember to alway keep learning fun! Be super excited when your pup does anything close to what you are looking for. Pay attention to your dog and when you notice that learning is becoming even slightly aggravating for him/her stop and play for a bit to keep it interesting. Learning has to be fun!

Hey there! I would just like to say that that is a very impressive list of tricks!!!  What a smart boy!
I am curious as to if you teach him all of this yourself or if he attended a class? I was going to sign Chase up for a basic training class, but since we have had such a hard time moving I decided to start working with him by myself because he really needs to learn. My mom's Yorkies are not trained as well as Chase is and because of this they almost give me a heart attack because they won't listen. They don't always come back to me when I call them and that could be really dangerous. That's why it's important to me that Chase learn things like "come here, sit, stay, laydown" these can really keep him out of trouble.
So long story short, I was hoping you could give me some pointers.
He knows "sit" and "come here". We are working on "stay." He know's to stay, but sometimes if there is a lot going on he will not keep his attention on what I'm asking him to do.
He also knows "focus" which is where he keeps eye contact with me.
We keep the lessons short and fun. Once he starts acting up like he's bored, we stop. I don't want him to find learning tedious.
Any tips that you have would be great!!

Hey Kaithlyn! Chase is quite a stunner! Thank you, I work really hard to always keep Clutch learning something new.

I have done all his training myself. I am thankful that Clutch really wants to figure out how to do whatever it is I am trying to teach him. Using high value rewards (cheese, unseasoned chicken or beef, even peas soaked in chicken broth) for new tricks is quite helpful as well.

I have started taking treats anywhere I go with Clutch and I show him that I have them before we start an activity outdoors so that he knows there will be a reward for listening. 

Remember to ALWAYS set your dog up to succeed!

Stay is a very important command.It works best if you teach stay in different stages. It is best to do all this in the house without distractions. Once Chase has learned to stay in place you may want to move onto duration. Have him stay for just a little to start with and then increase the time that he is in the stay position. You can take it anywhere from 15 second to 15 minutes (even longer once he understands) but remember to go slow (days).

Now you can start adding distance. Have Chase stay and take a few steps back then call him with "come here" or you can use a release word. Repeat at the same distance a few time then keep taking it farther and farther. Eventually you can round corners to where Chase is no longer in your site and call or release him from there. 

Once you master distance it is time to add distractions. This will be done outside. First thing first make absolutely positive you are in a safe place. Find a place with very few people/dogs and start from there. You can do distance or duration stay at this point. Practice your stay command over and over slowly (over several days) increase the amount of distractions present. Distractions are people, dogs, sounds, smells, and interesting movement. 

I really hope this helps you guys! Let me know how Chase does!

On a side note while I was writing this Clutch ate an entire napkin...

Thank you so much for the tips! I absolutely love working with Chase and I am always thinking of new things that I can teach him. Often times I come up with new and creative things to teach him before he has even perfected his present lesson. I make sure that I don't overwhelm him. But I get really excited!! lol
Can I ask you how much time it usually takes to learn a new lesson? Also, how old is Clutch?
Just out of curiousity...

Chase also loves to eat napkins. He shreds them into thousands of pieces and then he'll start to actually eat them. 

Kaitlyn, you are quite welcome! A good idea is to write down all the ideas you come up with. I get so excited when Clutch starts to learn something new and then start getting ideas for more things...then I forget them. Now we have a list of potential tricks.

Clutch is 13 months old. We got him at 14 weeks and started training the second day he was home with us.

Usually, for Clutch to learn something new it takes about a day to get the behavior down and another two days to perfect it. Some things take less time and some things take longer. For Clutch to learn to jump through a hoop it took less than 20 minutes. It took Clutch about 4-5 days to completely master the figure 8. Learning the take command is still an ongoing process. I am always adding distance and different shaped objects so that he can become comfortable picking up anything from anywhere and bringing it back.

Brittani, You have a great attitude and you are a natural trainer.  Clutch is a real smart pup.  My experience is that very smart dogs are often dominant in personality type.  It is very hard ( unnatural) for a dominant dog, especially an adult, to go belly up and the roll-over is a version of that.  I have a very intelligent Miniature Dachshund that is a fully trained Service Dog.  She is trained to assist me with vision and thinks she is in charge of me. She knows what her work is and is very obedient, and extremely attached to me as she is with me 24/7.  She is very dominant and has NEVER gone belly up for tummy rubs, although she will do this, on occasion, for my husband, spontaneously.  Keep teaching Clutch the things that are needed, and also the things that, as you say are fun and he enjoys learning, and forget the roll over, it's not worth it if he resists it so much.  Allow him that.

Thank you Anna! Your comment made my day :) 

I completely agree about dominant personality types. I have a hard time seeing Clutch as a dominate dog but my boyfriend insists that he is. I think it is because I am beyond a doubt pack leader and Clutch just sees himself above his dad in the rankings.

When Clutch was a puppy I would put him on his back and make him stay. He never had a problem with me doing this but will not let his dad or anyone else do it. I can still put him on his back now and we even have a game where I make circles in the air with my finger and say "saily hawk" until I get close enough tickle his belly and he loves it. Also, if her gets a hold of something he shouldn't have I tell him a firm "no" and occasionally he will flop down and at least give me his side. 

I think that I will follow your advice and just let roll over go. He gives me the stink I every time I try. It is almost as if he thinks that I have other plans (like trimming nails) besides learning something new. 

Love the roll video. So cute and smart! Baxter learned to play dead and roll over very easily, but I had a very hard time teaching it to Ziggy. Ziggy is much longer, so I figured it was harder for him physically to roll over. My tip would be to get him in a down position and then to get him to just lay on his side and treat him. Then work him up to being comfortable there and then try to get him to quickly roll over from that position. The laying on the side position can also double as the play dead, unless you want him completely on his back. Good luck with training!

Thanks for the advice! 

I think if I were to attempt roll over again I would do it in baby steps. I think I will start saying "roll" every time Clutch lays on his side until he gets the association. For some reason he will not go on his side while we are learning or doing tricks. 

Sounds like you are off to a good start! "Let go" is a good command to have and one that I forgot to mention. I use the word "drop" and find myself saying it about a billion times every time we go to our park (lots of lost napkins and empty bags).

Anytime you see Watson doing the "barrel roll" be try to say the words. Watson may be able to make the connection between the two if he does it often enough. Good Luck!

I think it is great that you are all teaching your dogs commands. We got Dolly when she was about 4 years old and she knew NOTHING. She still hesitates if I call her and she would rather run away, but I don't spend as much time with her as I should.

Perhaps if you don't worry about roll over for a while, and go on to other tricks Clutch will be willing to try it later, when he has gotten so used to learning new things that are fun.


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