Since the Coton de Tulear is so eager to please its owner, it shows great willingness to learn the occasional trick. If you have the determination to work with your Coton, and it won't take much, you can easily train your companion to perform tricks. What's important to understand when training your Coton to do tricks is that the learning process for dogs is very similar to that of humans. You will have to work with your Coton at least several times a week to ensure that it can successfully perform tricks on command.
In order to ascertain that your Coton is in a good mood when you are teaching it new tricks, you should initiate the lessons during playtime. Teaching your companion tricks can be fun for the both of you, and if you do it right, the lessons will seem no different than playtime to your Coton. It's important that you initiate training during playtime, because if you do it at an inopportune time, like meal time or potty time, you could find yourself at the business end of a very angry pooch!
Just like with any lesson, a job well done should always be rewarded. If your Coton performs well in its lessons, you should reward it with some sort of treat. Keep in mind that the treat doesn't necessarily have to be edible, too much food will make an overweight and sluggish Coton! A congratulatory pat on the head, a roll on the floor or even doggy smooches will send your pup flying high after a trick well done. When you first initiate these lessons, dog biscuits will be most effective. But once your Coton has learned the trick, you should try to find other methods of rewarding it.
Yelling at your Coton is not the right way to make it learn new tricks. Negative reinforcement will turn your dog completely off and it will be discouraged from learning tricks. Throughout your lessons, there are times when you may feel frustrated, but what do you really expect from an animal that doesn't understand your language? If you've been effective in communicating with your Coton, your frustration will be minimized, since you and your companion have established a way to understand each other.
To get you and your Coton started on party tricks for guests, here's a quick lesson you can work on. This first trick is a classic, and with an energetic and pleasing Coton, it should be a cinch. Teaching your Coton to "play dead" is simple. Call your Coton by its name, and say "down". Then pat the ground on the side where you want your Coton to go "down". Gently push your Coton down and command "play dead". When your Coton rolls over with its tummy to the sky, give it a little scratch in praise. And voila, you've just taught your Coton to "play dead" successfully.