Ten Fun and Entertaining Poodle Tricks

by | Poodles, Dog Breeds

New Dog Tips is reader-supported. Some links may be affiliate links. We may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase a product or take an action via these links.

Poodles are an intelligent and versatile breed known for their unique coat and exceptional learning abilities. Due to their high level of intelligence, it’s essential to keep their minds engaged and stimulated. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of mental stimulation for Poodles, the benefits of teaching tricks, and an overview of ten entertaining Poodle tricks you can teach your dog.

Importance of mental stimulation for Poodles

Mental stimulation is crucial for Poodles, an active and intelligent breed. Providing mental challenges helps prevent boredom, reduces the risk of destructive behavior, and promotes overall well-being. Teaching tricks is an excellent way to engage your Poodle’s mind while strengthening the bond between you and your furry friend.

Benefits of teaching tricks

Teaching tricks to your Poodle has several benefits. First, it provides mental stimulation and helps keep their mind sharp. Second, it strengthens the bond between you and your dog by fostering trust and communication. Third, it’s a fun way to showcase your Poodle’s intelligence and skill, which can be a great conversation starter at social gatherings.

Preparing for Success

Before diving into teaching Poodle tricks, it’s essential to establish a solid foundation for successful training. Here are some tips to help you prepare for success:

Selecting the right treats

Choose small, soft, and easily digestible treats that your Poodle finds irresistible. High-quality, low-calorie options are ideal, as they won’t contribute to weight gain during training sessions. Make sure to have a variety of treats on hand to keep your Poodle interested and motivated.

Choosing an appropriate training environment

Find a quiet, distraction-free environment for training sessions. This will help your Poodle focus on the task at hand and make it easier for them to learn new tricks. As your Poodle becomes more proficient, you can gradually introduce distractions to improve their focus and reliability in different settings.

Establishing a reward system

Develop a reward system that works for both you and your Poodle. This may include treats, praise, petting, or a combination of these rewards. Be consistent with your rewards, and offer them immediately after your Poodle performs the desired behavior. This will help reinforce the connection between the action and the reward.

Understanding your Poodle’s temperament and learning style

Poodles are intelligent and eager to please, but each dog has a unique temperament and learning style. Pay attention to your Poodle’s body language and reactions during training sessions. Adjust your approach as needed to ensure a positive and productive experience for you and your dog. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key elements of successful training.

Trick 1: Shake Hands

Teaching your Poodle to shake hands is a simple and impressive trick demonstrating your dog’s manners and obedience.

Breaking down the steps

  1. Begin by having your Poodle sit in front of you.
  2. Hold a treat in your hand, and let your Poodle sniff it.
  3. Slowly move the treat towards the ground, near their paw.
  4. When your Poodle lifts their paw to touch the treat, gently grasp their paw with your free hand and praise them.
  5. Release their paw and reward them with the treat.

Repeat these steps until your Poodle consistently lifts their paw when you present the treat.

Introducing the verbal cue

Once your Poodle understands the action, it’s time to add a verbal cue. Say “shake” or “paw” right before you present the treat, and gently grasp their paw. Continue to reward and praise them for lifting their paw. Practice this until your Poodle starts associating the verbal cue with the action.

Reinforcing the behavior

Gradually phase out the treat lure by presenting your empty hand, palm up, while saying the verbal cue. When your Poodle lifts their paw and places it in your hand, reward them with a treat from your other hand. Practice this until your Poodle consistently shakes hands-on command without needing the treat lure.

Trick 2: Spin in Circles

Spinning in circles is a fun trick that showcases your Poodle’s agility and grace.

Luring with treats

  1. With your Poodle standing before you, hold a treat in your hand at their nose level.
  2. Slowly move the treat in a circular motion around their head, encouraging them to follow it with their nose.
  3. As your Poodle starts to turn, continue moving the treat in a circle until they complete a full spin.
  4. Reward them with a treat and praise them for their accomplishment.

Repeat these steps until your Poodle can reliably spin in a circle following the treat.

Adding a hand signal

Now that your Poodle understands the spinning action, it’s time to introduce a hand signal. As you lure your Poodle with the treat, incorporate a circular hand motion with your free hand. Over time, make the hand motion more pronounced while gradually reducing the treat’s visibility. Eventually, your Poodle should be able to spin in response to the hand signal alone.

Progressing to off-leash spins

Once your Poodle can reliably spin with a hand signal, practice the trick without a leash (in a safe, enclosed area). Gradually increase the distance between you and your Poodle, and continue to practice with the hand signal and verbal cue. With patience and consistency, your Poodle will soon be able to spin in circles on command, both on and off-leash.

Trick 3: Play Dead

“Play dead” is a classic trick that never fails to entertain. This trick requires your Poodle to lie down and dramatically “fall” to one side as if playing dead.

Teaching the ‘down’ position

Before teaching your Poodle to play dead, ensure they have mastered the ‘down’ command.

  1. With your Poodle standing or sitting, hold a treat in front of their nose.
  2. Slowly move the treat towards the ground, guiding your Poodle into a lying position.
  3. When your Poodle is lying down, reward them with the treat and praise.
  4. Repeat this process until your Poodle reliably lies down on command.

Introducing the ‘bang’ cue

Now that your Poodle knows the ‘down’ command, you can teach them to play dead.

Command your Poodle to lie down.

  1. Hold a treat near their nose, slowly moving it to one side, encouraging them to roll onto their side.
  2. As your Poodle rolls onto their side, say “bang” or “play dead.”
  3. Reward them with a treat and praise them for their accomplishment.

Repeat these steps until your Poodle consistently rolls onto their side when given the ‘bang’ cue.

Perfecting the dramatic fall

Once your Poodle understands the ‘bang’ cue, make the trick more dramatic.

  1. Encourage your Poodle to lift its head slightly when they roll onto its side.
  2. Gradually increase the speed at which they perform the trick by giving the ‘bang’ cue more quickly.
  3. Practice the trick from different positions, such as standing or kneeling, to help your Poodle generalize the command.

Your Poodle can perform a convincing “play dead” on command with consistent practice.

Trick 4: Roll Over

The “roll over” trick is fun to showcase your Poodle’s agility and obedience.

Guiding with a treat

  1. Start with your Poodle in a ‘down’ position.
  2. Hold a treat close to their nose, slowly moving it towards their shoulder, encouraging them to turn their head.
  3. Continue moving the treat, guiding your Poodle to roll onto their back and then to the other side, eventually completing a full roll over.
  4. Reward them with a treat and praise them for their accomplishment.

Repeat this process until your Poodle consistently rolls over while following the treat.

Pairing with a verbal command

Once your Poodle understands the rolling action, it’s time to introduce a verbal command.

  1. Say “roll over” as you guide your Poodle with the treat.
  2. Reward them with the treat and praise them for successfully rolling over.
  3. Continue to practice this command, gradually reducing your reliance on the treat to guide your Poodle.

With consistent practice, your Poodle should start associating the “roll over” command with the action.

Rewarding consistency

As your Poodle becomes more proficient at rolling over on command, reward and praise them consistently. This will help reinforce the connection between the command and the desired behavior. With patience and persistence, your Poodle will soon be able to perform a flawless roll over on command.

Trick 5: Fetch and Put Away Toys

Teaching your Poodle to fetch and put away toys not only showcases their intelligence but also helps keep your home tidy.

Teaching ‘fetch’ basics

Before teaching your Poodle to put away toys, make sure they have mastered the ‘fetch’ command.

  1. Start with a toy your Poodle enjoys playing with and toss it a short distance away.
  2. Encourage your Poodle to chase the toy, and praise them when they pick it up.
  3. Call your Poodle back to you using their name or a recall command, such as “come.”
  4. When your Poodle returns with the toy, offer a treat in exchange for the toy and praise them.

Repeat these steps until your Poodle consistently fetches the toy and brings it back to you.

Introducing the toy box

Once your Poodle has mastered ‘fetch,’ you can introduce the toy box.

  1. Place the toy box in a designated area.
  2. Toss a toy into the box, and let your Poodle watch you do it.
  3. Command your Poodle to fetch the toy from the box and reward them when they bring it to you.

Repeat this process until your Poodle understands that the toys belong in the toy box.

Combining ‘fetch’ and ‘put away’

Now that your Poodle understands both ‘fetch’ and the toy box concept, you can combine the two actions.

  1. Command your Poodle to fetch a toy.
  2. Once your Poodle brings the toy back to you, point to the toy box and say, “put away” or “drop it.”
  3. Encourage your Poodle to place the toy in the box.
  4. Reward your Poodle with a treat and praise them when they successfully put the toy away.

Repeat these steps with different toys, and practice consistently until your Poodle can fetch and put away toys on command.

Trick 6: High Five

The high-five trick is a fun variation of the ‘shake hands’ trick and will impress your friends and family.

Modifying the ‘shake hands’ trick

Assuming your Poodle has mastered the ‘shake hands’ trick, you can modify the behavior to create a high-five.

  1. Ask your Poodle to sit in front of you.
  2. Present your palm facing up at chest height, and give the ‘shake’ command.
  3. As your Poodle lifts their paw, gently turn your hand so that your palm faces them.
  4. Allow your Poodle’s paw to touch your palm, creating a high-five motion.
  5. Reward them with a treat and praise them for their accomplishment.

Introducing the high-five gesture

Now that your Poodle understands the high-five motion, you can introduce a new hand gesture to differentiate it from the ‘shake hands’ trick.

  1. Hold your hand up, palm facing your Poodle, with your fingers spread apart.
  2. Say the ‘shake’ command and encourage your Poodle to lift its paw.
  3. Guide their paw to touch your palm in a high-five motion.
  4. Reward and praise them for their success.

Practice this new gesture until your Poodle consistently high-fives your hand.

Pairing with a verbal cue

You can introduce a new verbal cue once your Poodle has mastered the high-five gesture.

  1. Say “high five” as your Poodle lifts their paw and touches your palm.
  2. Reward and praise them for their success.
  3. Practice the command, gradually reducing your reliance on the original ‘shake’ command.

With consistent practice, your Poodle will soon associate the “high five” verbal cue with the action. Over time, your Poodle should be able to perform both the ‘shake hands’ and ‘high five’ tricks on command, impressing everyone with their versatile skills and intelligence. Remember, patience and consistency are key to successful trick training. Enjoy the process, and bond with your Poodle while teaching them these entertaining tricks.

Trick 7: Crawl

The crawl trick is an adorable way to showcase your Poodle’s obedience and stealthy movement skills.

Teaching the ‘down’ position

Before teaching your Poodle to crawl, ensure they have mastered the ‘down’ command, as described in previous sections.

Encouraging forward movement

  1. Start with your Poodle in the ‘down’ position.
  2. Hold a treat close to their nose, just out of reach, and slowly move it away from them.
  3. As your Poodle tries to reach for the treat, it should naturally begin to crawl forward.
  4. Reward them with a treat and praise them for their progress.

Repeat these steps until your Poodle consistently crawls forward while following the treat.

Adding a hand signal and verbal command

Once your Poodle understands the crawling action, you can introduce a hand signal and verbal command.

  1. As your Poodle starts to crawl, use a hand signal to indicate the action, such as pointing to the ground.
  2. Say “crawl” as they move forward.
  3. Reward and praise them for successfully crawling.
  4. Continue to practice this command, gradually reducing your reliance on the treat to guide your Poodle.

With consistent practice, your Poodle should soon be able to crawl on command, impressing everyone with their stealthy movement skills.

Trick 8: Balance a Treat on the Nose

This trick requires patience, focus, and trust between you and your Poodle, as they must balance a treat on their nose before catching it.

Building trust and focus

  1. Begin by having your Poodle sit in front of you.
  2. Hold a treat near their nose, and let them sniff it but not eat it.
  3. Gradually move the treat closer to their nose, encouraging them to focus on the treat without trying to snatch it.

Practice these steps until your Poodle can consistently focus on the treat without attempting to grab it.

Introducing the treat balance

  1. With your Poodle sitting, gently place the treat on their nose while saying “stay” or “wait.”
  2. Hold your hand close to their nose, ready to catch the treat if it falls.
  3. Encourage your Poodle to focus on the treat without attempting to eat it.

Repeat these steps, gradually increasing the balance duration until your Poodle can consistently hold the treat on their nose without it falling.

Adding the ‘catch’ element

Once your Poodle has mastered balancing the treat on their nose, you can introduce the ‘catch’ element.

  1. With the treat balanced on your Poodle’s nose, give a release command, such as “catch” or “okay.”
  2. As your Poodle flicks their head to send the treat into the air, please encourage them to catch it in their mouth.
  3. Reward and praise them for their success, even if they don’t catch the treat every time.

Practice this trick consistently, and soon your Poodle will be able to balance a treat on their nose and catch it on command, showcasing their impressive focus and skill.

Trick 9: Speak and Quiet

Teaching your Poodle to “speak” (bark) and be “quiet” on command not only showcases their obedience but can also be a useful way to manage their barking behavior.

Encouraging barking on command

  1. Observe your Poodle and identify a situation that naturally prompts them to bark, such as a knock on the door or a specific toy.
  2. As your Poodle begins to bark, say “speak” and immediately reward them with a treat and praise.

Repeat this process until your Poodle associates the “speak” command with barking.

Introducing the ‘quiet’ cue

Once your Poodle can bark on command, it’s time to teach them to be quiet.

  1. Command your Poodle to “speak” and allow them to bark a few times.
  2. Hold a treat in front of their nose, and as they stop barking to sniff the treat, say, “quiet.”
  3. Reward them with the treat and praise them for their silence.

Repeat these steps until your Poodle consistently stops barking when given the “quiet” cue.

Reinforcing controlled barking

Continue to practice the “speak” and “quiet” commands together, reinforcing that barking is allowed when requested but should stop when told to be quiet. With consistent practice, your Poodle will learn to control their barking on command, showcasing their obedience and understanding.

Trick 10: Jump Through a Hoop

Jumping through a hoop is an impressive trick demonstrating your Poodle’s agility and obedience.

Familiarizing with the hoop

  1. Introduce your Poodle to the hoop by allowing them to sniff and explore it while it’s on the ground.
  2. Reward them with treats and praise for showing interest in the hoop, helping them build a positive association with it.

Luring through the hoop

  1. With the hoop on the ground, hold a treat on one side and encourage your Poodle to walk through the hoop to get the treat.
  2. Reward them with the treat and praise them for successfully walking through the hoop.

Repeat this process, gradually raising the hoop off the ground to encourage your Poodle to step or jump through it.

Raising the hoop and adding a cue

  1. Once your Poodle is comfortable jumping through the hoop at a low height, gradually raise the hoop higher.
  2. As your Poodle jumps through the hoop, introduce a verbal command, such as “jump” or “hoop.”
  3. Reward and praise them for successfully jumping through the hoop.
  4. Continue to practice the command, gradually reducing your reliance on the treat to guide your Poodle.

With consistent practice, your Poodle will soon be able to jump through a hoop on command, showcasing their impressive agility and obedience. Keep┬átraining sessions fun and positive to maintain your Poodle’s interest and enthusiasm.

Final Words about Poodle Tricks

Take pride in your and your Poodle’s progress in mastering these entertaining and useful tricks. Each new skill showcases their intelligence and obedience and demonstrates your commitment to their well-being and happiness. Training and teaching tricks are excellent opportunities to strengthen the bond between you and your Poodle. Continue engaging in regular training sessions, ensuring they remain positive, fun, and rewarding for you and your furry companion. Regularly challenge your Poodle with new tricks and activities to keep their minds sharp and their bodies active. Engaging in various activities will help ensure your Poodle remains happy, healthy, and well-rounded.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should each training session last?

Training sessions should be short and sweet, lasting 10-15 minutes. Shorter sessions help maintain your Poodle’s focus and enthusiasm. You can have multiple sessions throughout the day, but always ensure your Poodle has time to rest and play in between.

What if my Poodle isn’t motivated by treats?

If your Poodle isn’t food-motivated, try using other rewards such as praise, toys, or playtime. Experiment with different types of rewards to determine what motivates your Poodle the most.

How can I teach my Poodle multiple tricks at once?

While teaching your Poodle multiple tricks simultaneously is possible, it’s best to focus on one trick at a time to avoid confusion. Once your Poodle has mastered one trick, you can move on to the next one, occasionally revisiting previous tricks to reinforce the learning.

What should I do if my Poodle is struggling with a specific trick?

If your Poodle is struggling with a particular trick, try breaking the trick down into smaller steps, and reward progress at each step. Be patient and consistent, and don’t be afraid to seek advice from a professional trainer if necessary.

Can older Poodles still learn new tricks?

Absolutely! While older Poodles may learn slower, they can still learn new tricks. It’s essential to be patient and adjust your training approach based on their needs. Older Poodles may benefit from shorter, more frequent training sessions and low-impact tricks to accommodate any age-related physical limitations.