Teaching your dog to 'play dead' - AmericaNowNews.com

Teaching your dog to 'play dead'

Teaching your dog to play dead can actually help him stay healthy. Pets who do tricks on command can be pretty popular at parties. But it turns out having these fun skills also helps pets live healthier lives. America Now's pet pro, Luciano Aguilar explains why.

"Teaching tricks to dogs can be a lot of fun," says Luciano, "But it isn't just about fun. Tricks also help dogs learn important behaviors that can keep them healthy and happy. Like playing dead. Aside from being a real crowd pleaser, teaching this trick can make it easier to clip your dog's toenails, comb his coat and even dress a wound."

So, how do you get a dog to play dead? First you'll need a treat—to reward your dog for getting it right. But don't let him see the treat until the trick's in progress. So keep it hidden in your hand for now. Start by giving the "sit" command followed by the "down" command. When your dog is down, then show him the treat.

Next, use the treat as a guide to make your dog turn his head and look toward his behind. Encourage him along the way, but don't let him roll too far over. Your dog should be flat on his side. When your dog reaches this position, give him the treat. But be decisive. If you wait too long, he could roll all the way over, and that's a completely different trick. From the play dead position, it's easier to clip your dog's nails, comb his coat and even patch up a scratch.

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