Teaching your dog clever tongue tricks provides great mental stimulation and strengthens your bond through positive reinforcement training. With persistence and creativity, you can train your furry friend Trixie to impress guests by flipping, rolling, and curling her tongue on command. Building a strong foundation for your dog’s training? Explore DotSnel.com’s expert-backed guides on breed-specific training needs.
- Start by teaching basic commands like “show me your tongue” using treats as a reward
- Break down tricks into small steps and build on each one
- Use a clicker for clear communication and timing
- Practice short, daily training sessions of 5-15 minutes
- Be patient – some tricks may take weeks or months to learn fully
- Make training fun with praise, play, and variety
- End each session on a good note with an easy trick
Step 1: Teach “Show Me Your Tongue”
The starting point for any tongue trick is teaching your dog to show her tongue briefly on verbal command.
Tips for “Show Me Your Tongue”:
- Use a treat: Hold a small treat close to your dog’s nose, say “show me your tongue” then quickly lift the treat overhead so she looks up and her tongue sticks out. Reward with the treat.
- Add a hand signal: Once she starts responding to the verbal cue, add a simple hand signal such as pointing to your open mouth. Give the verbal command and signal together as you lift the treat.
- Practice daily: Work on this fundamental trick for a few minutes each day before meals or playtime. Keep training sessions short and upbeat.
- Fade the treat: After a couple weeks, start giving the treat intermittently – once every 3-5 repetitions. Use excited praise as a reward too.
By keeping “show me your tongue” fun with variety and praise, it will become second nature to your dog in no time.
Step 2: Shape the Tongue Flip
Once your dog reliably shows her tongue on cue, you can begin shaping more advanced tongue acrobatics. One fun trick is training your pup to flip her tongue up and down quickly.
How to Train the Tongue Flip:
- Start by capturing the behavior. Say “show me your tongue” then wait for your dog to flip her tongue naturally. Click and reward when it happens.
- Repeat this capture process until you notice your dog starting to intentionally flip her tongue for the reward.
- Now add the verbal cue “flip!” as she starts to move her tongue. Click and treat.
- Practice the cue before she flips so she learns to do it on command.
Tip: At first, reward every tongue flip. Then switch to variable reinforcement, rewarding only the best motions.
Keep training sessions short to avoid fatigue. Your dog will soon associate the “flip” cue with curling her tongue rapidly upward. Celebrate every little success!
Step 3: Teach Rolling the Tongue
Once the tongue flip is mastered, try teaching your pup to roll her tongue. This trick requires significant tongue control and range of motion.
Follow these steps to train your dog to roll her tongue:
- Start by capturing the natural tongue roll behavior. Say “show me your tongue”, click and reward any partial rolling motion.
- Gradually shape the roll by rewarding bigger motions, first to one side, then the other.
- When she seems to intentionally roll her tongue, add the verbal cue “roll!” just as she starts the motion. Click and treat.
- Practice the “roll” cue before the trick to associate it with the behavior. Use variable rewards.
- Be patient. Only reward the best rolling motions. Practice slowly expanding the tongue roll range.
Tip: Try holding the treat to one side to encourage your dog to follow with her tongue.
With regular short lessons and praise for trying, your dog will master rolling her tongue sideways left and right on cue!
Step 4: Teach Curling the Tongue
Curling the tongue involves folding the sides upward into a tube shape. This trick requires very good tongue control. Follow these tips:
- As always, capture and reward any natural curling motions during “show me your tongue”
- Gently fold your dog’s tongue into a curl position, praise, then release and reward. Repeat.
- Over multiple sessions, shape the behavior by only rewarding tighter curls.
- Add your cue word “curl!” as your dog starts to fold her tongue upwards. Reward every time at first.
- Keep practicing the cue before the trick until the behavior becomes reliable. Use variable rewards.
Tip: Limit training sessions to prevent fatigue. Always end on a completed trick.
While it takes time and practice, you can teach your dog to curl her tongue into a tight “U” shape on command!
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