TODAY   |  December 27, 2013

Learn how to teach your dog some cool tricks

Your dog is never too old to learn a few new tricks. Animal trainer Babette Haggerty demonstrates the most effective methods to train your dog, with Natalie Morales’ Zara as her eager assistant.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back now at 8:44. have you always wished your dog could do tricks but you're not sure how to teach them? she helped launch david letterman 's stupid pet tricks segment is here to help.

>> and she is out with a new book called the best dog tricks on the planet. we asked her to work with my dog to see what she could teach her. good morning.

>> good morning. how are you this morning.

>> she's doing well so far.

>> i'm like a nervous stage mom up here. hold it together.

>> she says her prayers.

>> look at that.

>> she has become very spiritual in the last three weeks since you have been working with her.

>> if you're at home watching, you want to teach your dog a couple of tricks, what's the rule of thumb to get started?

>> the best thing to do is keep it simple and keep it fun. find what your dog likes to do. zara loves to sit high. so i taught her to sit high and hold it there. some dogs like to shake their paw. they're good at that. you pick things they like to do. golden retrievers love to crawl and zara is one of them. you just start working on them.

>> we're not talking about obedience. these are tricks. two separate things.

>> obedience, you stop the dog from doing something wrong. with trick training what you do is you find what the dog likes to do. if they do something that you don't want them to do, instead of correcting them, you're going to give it a command and tell them to do it on command.

>> she is about three years old. pound dog as you know. she was here on the show and i adopted her. she was at the humane society . lot of treats and lots of phrase which is so important when it comes to training dogs.

>> absolutely. you want to make it light and fun. she has started to do these things without the treat toos but this morning she wants the bacon.

>> what for your initial impressions? did you think you had your hands full here?

>> no, she is an easy dog and sweet and mild mannered. she likes to work.

>> you taught her a couple of things.

>> run us through what you got.

>> bang, bang. good girl. okay, come on.

>> dramatic.

>> she is dramatic. she's a great actress. perfect for tv.

>> natalie , have you seen her do any of this stuff?

>> no, but remember the psa we did and zara was in it. i have seen a couple of the tricks.

>> good girl.

>> but she is doing really well.

>> she is doing great.

>> she doesn't seem distracted by natalie either. they usually see their owner and come running.

>> she was a little distracted by me this morning.

>> she is very excited today.

>> crawl, crawl, crawl.

>> she's got that one down. she is working hard for those treats.

>> can natalie pull these off at home or would you have to be there as a professional.

>> no, we can show natalie how to do it. she can teach her to put paws up and this starts -- this helps the dog stabilize themselves for the sit high command and then you put the treat down here as a lure. that's for the say your prayers. you want her to have both paws up. good girl. so you place the paws back up. good girl.

>> see it seems like you build a foundation one trick sort of leads to the next. there's a little bit of a pattern so it makes it easier for them.

>> for example, she wasn't jumping through the hoop initially. i had her walk through the hoop and overtime i would bring the hoop higher and higher and as she got better and better i'd put her further and further away so she can do it at a great distance and it's a better job.

>> she mastered the basics.

>> she did. how about it for zara and you more importantly.

>> it has all the crazy tricks in there.