Although some dogs are prone to fancier tricks, others are, by nature, more sedate. These simple and adorable tricks suit their personalities, and will therefore be easier for you to teach.
Say You're Sorry
For this trick the dog lies down with his chin on the ground between his front paws. An added bonus is teaching him to look up at you, which will add an even more convincing element to the performance. You may want to use this as the canine version of time out.
Put your dog in a Down, facing you; click and treat him for holding that position.
After about thirty seconds, withhold the click and wait. Pay close attention and click and treat any head motion down.
Once your dog starts to understand that lowering his head is what causes the click, withhold the click until your dog holds the position for an extra second.
Increase the number of seconds your dog has to keep his head down until you can build it up to fifteen to twenty seconds.
Label the behavior Sorry by saying the command right before he offers the behavior.
Repeat this step until the command Sorry triggers the behavior.
To help your dog understand that lowering his head causes the click, deliver the treat low to encourage the dog to look down. This will give you more opportunities to reward him for offering the right behavior.
Say Your Prayers
Any dog looks cute performing this trick. This trick requires your dog to rest his paws on a chair or stool and tuck his head between his front paws. He can be sitting or standing.
Use a table, stool, or chair that won't move when your dog puts his paws on it.
Get your dog to put his front paws on the stool by tapping the stool or luring him with a treat. Click any effort to get his paws up on the stool.
Delay the click so that your dog is putting his paws up and leaving them there for three seconds before you click and treat.
Using a yogurt lid as a target, get your dog to put his head between his front paws by placing the target slightly under his chest. Click and treat your dog for making attempts to touch the target.
Delay the click again until your dog holds his nose to the target for longer periods of time.
Fade the target slowly by clicking before he actually touches it, or by making it smaller.
Label the behavior Say Your Prayers as he is performing the behavior and just before any other cues. Gradually fade any old cues.
To make the trick Say Your Prayers go smoothly and to prevent your dog from scaring himself, choose a low stool that he can put his paws up on easily but that won't slide across the floor when he leans on it. Consider doing this trick on a rug or putting nonskid material under the legs of the stool.