Your dog might sport star-quality looks, but he won’t get a second chance without perfecting these two tricks often required of animal actors, say Laurie Williams of the “Ready for Prime Time” Dog Performance Camp:
1. Bow on command. Position a food treat underneath your standing dog’s chest. As your dog moves his front legs down to get the treat and his rear end rises, click one with a dog clicker and say, “Bow.” Then offer the treat. If your dog tries to grab the treat without bowing, tuck the treat into your closed palm. Repeat these steps five or six times. If your dog gets the trick quickly, stop, praise, and move on to another trick to prevent boredom.
2. “Watch me!” Guarantee your dog maintains eye contact to follow your commands on a set by saying, “Watch me,” and touching your nose. As soon as your dog looks at your eyes, click a dog clicker and hand over a treat. Cock your head to the side and reward if your dog mimics the movement. Gradually take away the vocal command and the clicker and reward your dog with a treat each time he responds with a stare when you touch your nose.