Ok, so I know that this sounds like an unusual trick. Most people are going to be satisfied with the typical commands required for obedience like sit, stay, roll over etc. But, I am here to tell you that when you can get your dog to sneeze on command, it is just plain hilarious!
Not only is this trick different and will make your dog stand out in the crowd, but people from all over will be asking you how you did it! It has become a neighborhood favorite on my block. The good news? It is far simpler than you think and in my case, it happened as a complete accident!
Before I jump in to the how, I should provide a little back story. Our dog Rocky, an adorable Black poodle is one of the most excitable dogs you have ever met. As soon as anyone entered into the room, he would begin to shake all over in an uncontrollable way.
This shaking was immediately accompanied by barking, as well. He wasn’t angry or upset. He simply wanted to share with others his joy and exhilaration that a new friend had entered his space. So, although I loved his energy, this behavior just wasn’t appreciated by most.
He was scaring the little kids who would come over and his high pitched bark was more than annoying! Something simply had to be done to stop this behavior. So, I set out to change it. Little did I know that my efforts would soon result in something that has become endearing and a party favorite.
Here is what I did. As soon as Rocky would start to shake and bark, I would give the command “quiet!” As I did this, I would immediately extend one finger up to my mouth, making the quiet sign. I was sure to use a stern, curt command so he knew I meant business!
I would follow up his good behavior with a small treat to reinforce his actions. Over time, as soon as I gave the quiet command, I noticed that his barking would get shorter and quieter, but it was still barely present. Pretty soon, his tiny bark started to look and sound exactly like a sneeze! I couldn’t believe my ears the first time that I heard it.
It sounded just like a three month old baby with an adorable “ahchoo!” Now, I was on to something! This cracked us all up and we wanted to put this trick into his normal repertoire. So, I had to think a little outside the box to see if this was something that we could teach him without too much trouble or effort.
After a while, I started replacing the verbal command of quiet with sneeze, but used the same hand gesture when I commanded Rocky. He quickly learned to respond with his sneeze, as he accompanied the gesture and word together.
Then, I simply removed the gesture and continued to say Sneeze! Now we have a hilarious poodle that can sneeze on command! I’m confident that if you follow these very simple steps, and if you have an excitable dog, you will be able to easily replicate this technique for yourself.
Enjoy having your dog in the spotlight and bringing smiles to your neighbors’ faces!
Let me know if you have success in working with your fur baby and share with the rest of our readers. I would love to see the fruits of your labors. A video would be even better! Good luck and have fun!