Teaching Parlor Tricks – Not Here!
I would not introduce parlor tricks to my pointing dog and here’s why.
Parlor tricks are commands you train your dog to perform i.e Sit, Lay, Roll Over, Handshake, Play Dead, etc, and treats are typically used for praise.
When training ‘pointing’ dogs, we first teach Control (Stop, Stand, Release and Recall). Pressure is put on your pointing dog to obtain positive outcomes during training and to correct bad behaviors early before becoming a bigger problem. Some dogs will attempt to dismiss or stop training, otherwise known as shutting down and might fall back to performing parlor tricks for immediate happiness and praise. Can this be corrected? absolutely, but it may take a little extra time and patience.
A perfect example of a dog that has been trained to Sit. While training, the dog has been commanded to Stop and Stand without moving, as I’m walking to the dog it sits down looking for praise. My first reaction, who taught the dog to sit, and will this become a problem when I need to apply more pressure on the dog during training.
Stay away from parlor tricks and focus on the most important commands for your bird dog.
Parlor tricks do not balance out a dog, control does.