7 New Great Tricks You Can Teach Your German Spitz at Home


Do you sometimes feel like you’d love to teach some tricks to your dog but you are out of ideas? Or maybe you have a trick in mind but you don’t quite know how to teach it? Well then, you have come to the right place because I’ve got another set of great tricks and activation tips to share with you.

If you haven’t yet read my first article about great and easy tricks that you can teach your German Spitz at home, please go check it out, too. You can find it by clicking this link:

7 Easy Tricks You can Teach Your German Spitz at HomeOpens in a new tab.

The first article, as well as this second one, contains not only tricks but other types of activation tips, too. Dogs in general love mental challenges. German Spitzes especially are intelligent creatures and they love tricks and problem-solving. When you provide those for your dogs they will be happy pooches that are more likely to behave nicely, too.

So, let’s go ahead and start learning these tricks!

Weave through your legs

This is a great trick because it can be/become a flashy trick with which you can show off a little, but it can be a great warm-up exercise as well. For example, if dog agility is your thing this is a good exercise to do during your warm-up, before getting to the course of obstacles.

As a trick, this is great because this is an easy one to teach your dog at home. Start by guiding your dog between your legs with a treat in your hand. First, reward your dog after each leg but as he starts getting the idea you can slowly prolong the time after which you reward.

In the beginner phase, it is best to stay stationary but as your dog gets familiar with the exercise you can start making it more difficult by moving forward. This is when it becomes a flashy move! You will most likely need to guide your dog with your hand at first, but little by little your dog will need less guidance from you. It will look amazing when you keep on walking and your dog will simply weave through your legs with each step you take.

I have a video clip of how this exercise progresses:

Heel between your legs

Heeling is a great one to teach your dog and if you decide to do any proper obedience training it is one of the basics that your dog needs to learn. But how about making the traditional heeling a little more entertaining? How about teaching your dog to heel between your legs? This is how you make a somewhat boring move into a funny little trick.

If your dog is familiar with heeling, or least walking beside you at the same pace you are, then this is probably easier to teach. However, I don’t think it is necessary to master the traditional heeling to try this one.

Start by guiding your dog between your legs. At first, you may want to reward your dog just for this so that he gets used to being between/around your legs. Some dogs, especially tiny ones, might feel uncomfortable doing this and they need a little more reassuring.

Then start adding the movement. Keeping the treat in your hand, take it in front of your dog’s face so that your dog can see it in front of him. Take a step forward. Reward. Repeat the exercise and slowly increase the distance that you walk but don’t try too much at first. Keep rewarding so that your German Spitz will feel motivated enough to continue. Add in the cue word you want to use for this trick.

The goal is to move forward while your German Spitz is heeling between your legs. It should be done in a way that you no longer need to guide your dog with a treat in your hand but he will do it just from hearing the cue.

I have a video of this, too. Let’s take a look:

Peekaboo

Playing peekaboo is another flashy and funny trick, yet it is really easy to teach! With a small dog like the German Spitz Klein or Mittel, this is even easier because you can teach your dog simply to look through your legs.

Before I make a fool of myself by trying to explain this with words, let’s look at a quick 9-second-video of me doing this with my German Spitz Mittel. This way you’ll have an idea of what this trick is supposed to look like.

With your dog standing behind you cross your legs the way I did in the video (be careful with balance!). Keep a treat in your hand and bring your hand down so that your dog can see it through your legs. While keeping your legs crossed wait till your German Spitz will reach between your legs to get the treat from your hand. To this action, you should add your cue word, for example, “peekaboo”.

As you keep doing this you will see that in time your dog will know what to do just from seeing you move your legs into this position and he will immediately peek through. If you look closely at what we do in the video you will see that my dog will actually place one of his front legs onto my leg which makes this move even cuter. 

Slow feeder bowl

Not all German Spitzes are greedy when it comes to food but some of them certainly are. If you give them their kibbles from a regular bowl they will swallow their food down in seconds and there is nothing you can do about it.

It would be great if you could slow the feeding process down a bit and for this people have actually developed good ways. One of them is a specially designed bowl, a so-called “slow feeder bowl”. There are different kinds available these days, but they are all designed in a way that it is impossible for your dog to eat as fast as he normally would. He simply cannot get to the kibbles and he needs to go through some trouble before getting them into his mouth.

Slow eating is also healthy eating. Bowls like these prevent choking and may even help to maintain the ideal weight of the dog. Mealtimes prolong from seconds to…. a couple of minutes at least. In fact, vets recommend slow feeder bowls.

As you can see in this video my Mittel, the Greedy One with capital letters still eats very rapidly. You can only imagine how fast he would swallow down the kibbles from a regular bowl! In the video, you’ll see my other Mittel waiting for his turn to eat. The gray one eats in a slow manner anyway so he doesn’t really need a bowl like this. Sometimes I use it with him, too, just to give him some mental stimulation.

If you think your German Spitz would benefit from a slow feeder bowl, you can find different kinds of bowls on Amazon. Check the current price by clicking this linkOpens in a new tab..

Walking backwards

In this article, there are tricks that may seem more difficult than they actually are. Once you start practicing them you realize that it is actually not that hard. Take the peekaboo, for example. It looks cute but in reality, it is very easy to teach. Walking backward, however, is one of those tricks that may seem easy, but is actually not.

For dogs, walking backward is not as simple as it may seem to us, humans. Especially young dogs and dogs that have not done these types of exercises before might not be even aware of the fact that they have back legs! You are probably surprised to hear this, but trust me, this is true.

Dogs can be surprisingly bad at handling their rear legs. If you ask them to move their rear legs they seem to have very little co-ordination. For dogs to be able to place their rear legs on a specific spot is actually very difficult and it needs quite a bit of training.

It is very good to practice this, though, because it does amazing things for your German Spitz’s muscles and the overall physique. If you keep doing these exercises you will soon see a huge difference in the way your dog can move his rear legs: he will be able to place them on a specific spot with ease. This is great for future agility training, too, if that’s what you are interested in.

Start by the tiniest movement. Keep a treat in your hand. Take both of your hands in a fist in front of your dog’s nose. Gently push your dog backward but only a little! Just as your dog moves his back legs even an inch backward give the treat to your dog. Repeat.

I know it seems like you are going nowhere, but you need to do this slowly. This way your dog will have time to really learn the exercise, and he will do it in the correct form. It is important that your dog will learn to walk backward in a straight line without turning right or left. For this reason, it is best to take time with this exercise.

As you progress, your dog will take actual steps backward by moving his rear legs. Then you can add your cue word.

Balance cushion

Do you own a balance cushion? Maybe you were supposed to be training with it once but then you fed up and you threw it away in the back of your closet? Well, now it’s time to go get it. Go on, right now.

Exercises with a balance cushion are not only good for us humans but they do wonders for our four-legged friends as well. As I said in the previous chapter, dogs need to practice their physique overall and their hind legs especially. With a balance cushion, you can do several exercises that improve your dog’s health tremendously.

I told you that dogs may find it difficult to place their rear legs on a specific spot. Once you master the walking backward bit, you can combine the two: teach your dogs to back up so that he will place both of his rear legs on the cushion. At first, you can reward your dog even when one of his legs is on the cushion but in time you may demand more and wait till your dog has placed both of his hind legs on it.

This is a difficult exercise so don’t be alarmed if your German Spitz doesn’t quite understand it right away.

You could even try moving forward first. Your dog will walk forward, over the cushion, and just as the hind legs rest on the cushion, you ask him to stop. Reward. Repeat. In time you will notice that your dog will stop on its own.

Then as your dog learns that he will need to have his rear legs on the cushion you can switch the exercise up a bit and combine this with walking backward.

If you don’t have a balance cushion/disc yet, you can find one on Amazon. Remember, you can use it, too! Just don’t get the kind of disc that has those massage spikes, if you plan on using it with your dog. Check out the cool colors on this linkOpens in a new tab..

Let’s watch a video so you will probably get a better idea of how it is supposed to go.

Obedience training sequence: sit, heel, stand, wait, sit

This is the most difficult of the tricks and exercises described in this blog post because it combines so many individual exercises. The sequence as it is in the video is actually part of the dog obedience sport. However, this is definitely a good exercise to do even if you never intend to compete in this sport. I haven’t competed, either, but it’s fun to do these exercises at home. And not only are they fun, but they are really, really useful as well.

To do this type of exercise you first need to break it into several pieces. Your German Spitz will have to master sitting in the basic position beside you, heeling, standing, staying in place while you move away, waiting for you to come back and finally getting into the basic position at the end of it. Don’t think that you will master this in a day. You will not be able to do this in a week or a month, either. If you start from zero give it a year and then you could probably be there.

You could start by teaching your dog the cue “stand”. It is quite easy to teach because whenever your dog stands you simply start adding the cue word into it. Then you could leave your dog to stand in place while you could move a little bit, and then you could come back to reward your dog. It is important to take tiniest steps at a time.

This exercise is obviously for those who are no longer beginners. If the individual commands are familiar to you and your dog, you can start combining them together into longer sequences. You don’t have to follow the obedience rules but you are free to invent your own sequences. This video where I do this with my Mittel is just for your inspiration. Good luck!

Here are my seven tricks and tips this time. I hope you find them useful and above all, I hope you find them fun and entertaining to do with your German Spitz. I’m all about spending time with your dog, having fun with your dog, and loving your dog. Teaching your German Spitz some cool tricks is just another way of doing it.

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