Sit and Shake Hands:This is one of the easiest tricks to teach to a dog. First you must teach your dog to sit on command. Probably the easiest way to teach a dog to sit on command is to have a treat (dog biscuit, piece of cheese, etc.) on your hand, lift it up above the dog's nose and say 'sit!'. If the dog is standing and tries to grab the treat, don't let him get it, but repeat the same maneuver again. When he sits, immediately give him the treat and praise him. Repeat the trick a few times. Another way to teach a dog to sit on command is very simple but takes a little more time: each time you see that your dog is going to sit, tell him to 'sit!' and praise him when he does that (+ give a treat). It doesn't take very many repetitions for the dog to realize what the command is for, but this still takes longer than the above mentioned method. Some poeple suggest you to teach a dog to sit on command by pressing his butt on the ground while saying 'sit!'. I suggest you first try the other two methods though, just to see how easy it is to teach a dog even without using force. Later, once he has clearly understood the meaning of the command 'sit!' you can use this method if he doesn't obey you. Try to be gentle though, there's no point in causing the dog pain when teaching him tricks. Once your dog has learned to sit on command, you can proceed to 'shaking hands'. Give him the command ('say hello!' or whatever), and gently hold his paw with your hand and give him a treat with another hand. Repeat this a couple of times -- most dogs learn this very fast, if your timing (the command + the praise and treat) is right.
The Find It Game The easiest doggy game of all may be “Find It” -- you can’t go wrong when sniffing and food are involved. Show your dog a piece of dry food or a tiny treat. Say “Find it!” and toss the food on the ground. If your dog doesn’t quite get the idea of hunting outside the bowl, start her off by dropping the treat right in front of her. Then at each repetition, toss it farther and farther away. You can feed your dog entire meals by playing Find It; for some reason, dogs rarely seem to get bored when looking for food. Make the game more challenging by asking your dog to stay while you hide the treat behind a piece of furniture or in another room. Come back, release your dog from the stay, and wish her happy hunting. I do not suggest using the couch cushions as a hiding place.
Wobble Wobble:Make a Wobble Board from wood: On the bottom of a wooden square painted with a nonslip surface. In the center, on the bottom of the board, screw in or glue a ball (tennis ball or small round cabinet knob, depending upon the size of your dog). Encourage your dog to step on the Wobble Board , stand on the center and walk around its perimeter. The Board will "Wobble" and teach the dog that wobbling surfaces are a game rather than to be feared.
Clean Up Your Toys:Get a box or bucket and collect a number of toys and other dog-safe items (don't start with things your dog likes to hoard or that you don't want them ever touching). Scatter the toys in a small pile on the floor. Through shaping and teasing, get the dog to pick up the items one at a time, and place them in your hand. Once the dog is lifting the items high enough to get your hand underneath to receive, you are well started. Be sure to reward each "gift" with a food treat. Make it harder and harder to put stuff in your hand, while maintaining the fun of this "return for refund" game. Each item retrieved is dumped into the bucket. The dog will leave harder ones for later, so over time make substitutions that make the items increasingly difficult for the dog. Some dogs take the leap and start putting things directly into the bucket themselves. (Thanks to Diana Hilliard for this one!)
Follow the Leader: I set up lots of puppy obstacles and traffic cones in no particular order and give each handler the opportunity the chance to be leader. All you need are three dogs and handlers. In the summer (actually most of the year here in Florida) I include a shallow wading pool, also some piles of balls or Frisbees. Well, you get the idea.
"Nose-Ball" -- teach your dog to push a tennis ball to you with his nose. This is a great 'living room activity' for rainy days!