Unusual Dog Tricks

"I'll do anything, just keep the treats coming, Mom."

"I'll do anything, just keep the treats coming, Mom."

Most pet owners and their pooches are familiar with typical commands like sit, stay, come and lie down, but your buddy is capable of so much more. So get your treats ready, these unusual dog tricks will impress your pals and have you rolling over in amusement.

Answer the Phone

While your buddy may not be able to greet callers with a, “Hello, this is Fido speaking,” he can certainly retrieve the phone when it rings. Answering the phone seems complicated, but if your dog already knows a “fetch” or “retrieve” command, it’s simply an extension of what he already knows. Imagine how excited he’ll be to receive a treat every time he walks with you to answer the phone, just make sure he doesn’t mistake the telephone for a chew toy.

Brush Your Hair

If you’ve ever noticed your buddy rubbing his face and thought, “It sort of looks like he’s coiffing his do,” then you’re halfway done with the “brush your hair trick.” Turn your buddy into a hairstylist by simply encouraging him to rub his face and head on command while your friends and family howl with laughter. This trick works best on medium to longhaired dogs or breeds like the poodle, who sport a little extra fluff up top.


While you can’t actually hypnotize your buddy, you can make him appear to be getting sleepy, very sleepy. This trick is easiest if you start it off as an extension of sit, stay, lie down and roll over. It’s essentially a slowed down, combined version of what he already knows. Make it more fun by putting a bit of peanut butter on your finger and moving it in a large circle above your buddy’s head. Most dogs will eagerly follow the finger, making them appear dizzy and “hypnotized.”

Shoot a Hoop

Let’s face it, your buddy likely isn’t the next Michael Jordan. However, with a little work he can knock down baskets with the best of his pals. This trick is especially easy for active dogs who love to chase balls and play with toys, just be sure to use a small beach ball or another light ball -- a heavy basketball can injure your buddy’s delicate facial area. Once he’s used to bumping the ball into the air when you toss it to him, it just takes practice to get his aim down. Don’t worry about him losing interest; the more baskets he makes, the more treats he downs. Score!

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About the Author

Christina Stephens is a writer from Portland, Ore. whose main areas of focus are pets and animals, travel and literature. A veterinary assistant, she taught English in South Korea and holds a BA in English with cum laude honors from Portland State University.

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