Some dog tricks include teaching a dog to separate recycling, involving a dog in a game of basketball or volleyball, training a dog to water ski or showing a dog how to fetch items from a refrigerator, according to Alexandra Gekas for Woman's Day magazine. More dog tricks include dancing, playing the piano, pulling children around in a wagon, skateboarding and vocalizing on command.
To train a dog, Dr. William Fortney for HowStuffWorks recommends using positive reinforcement by encouraging a dog to work for praise, affection, playtime and treats. This is more effective than scolding a dog when it doesn't perform to its owners standards. Dogs can't interpret why their owners are angry at them, Fortney says. Yelling or spanking a dog only causes it to fear its owner. Positive reinforcement techniques consist of ignoring when a dog does something wrong and instead placing the focus on a dog's achievements so that it knows what is expected. Fortney stresses the importance of giving praise in immediate reaction to the behaviors expected of the dog. For example, if a dog eliminates outdoors, an owner should immediately praise it so that the dog is able to make the connection between the desired behavior and the reward.