Dog Trick: Balancing a Treat on the Nose

A step-by-step tutorial for teaching your dog how to balance a stick (or treat) on his or her nose

Huldah Nagel
Sep 10, 2019 · 3 min read
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Dog tricks are great. They work a dog’s mind, they are fun to show off, and the training helps build bonds between owner and dog. But it’s not always easy to figure out the best way to train certain tricks. Below is a step-by-step tutorial on how I trained my dog to “Hold!”

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  1. Gather your tools — a stick for the nose, a tasty treat to lure and reward, and a dog. And don’t forget to come up with a command for the trick! Hold, steady, and balance are all good choices.
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The necessary tools

2. Get the dog’s attention — grab your tasty treat and show the dog it’s in your hand.

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showing your dog the treat

3. Balance the stick — have the dog sitting for best results. With your tasty treat still in your hand, use both hands steady your dog’s head and place the stick on the nose.

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using both your hands, balance the stick

4. Ease away gradually — using your treat hand, keep the dog’s attention by holding the reward near his or her nose. Slowly take your balancing hand away.

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slowly remove your hands

5. Reward — as soon as your dog is holding the stick without your help, reward him! Even if it’s only been a second.

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Ta-Da! Quickly reward success

6. Repeat — do the trick again, this time challenging your dog to hold the stick for longer.

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building up endurance

7. Use a milk bone — once your dog is holding a stick well, raise the stakes by using a treat instead of a stick.

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the ultimate goal

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