For instance, when we do sit ups, she will get down, but not completely -- her butt will still be in the air (think downward dog). Or she'll do another trick -- settle down -- because she doesn't want to do sit ups, and knows I will give treats for settle down, which my trainer finds hilarious, by the way.
Here's a video of what I'm talking about.
She's trying to fake me out. I don't allow it, and when you're working with your dog, you shouldn't allow it either.
Pet360.com is a great pet resource and pet community site, and in a recent article, they describe how and why dogs do this.
Of course, the most obvious reason is they want that treat, and they will do anything to get it. But if you say "ok close enough" and give them that treat, they will believe they don't have to perform the whole trick properly.
As with any dog behavior, in the end it comes down to the owner's willingness to be thorough and consistent.
Here's what one trainer says in the Pet360.com article:
“Dog owners frequently underestimate their dog’s intelligence but overestimate their cunning. Dogs are very specific and learn exactly what you teach them,” said Sarah Westcott, CPDT-KSA and owner of Doggie Academy in Brooklyn, New York. “They pick up on patterns that sometimes we are not even aware of.”It's not just tricks though -- did you know a dog will even try to fool you into thinking they've gone to the bathroom outside if they know they'll get a treat? Read more in the Pet360.com article "How Your Dog Deceives You."
Meanwhile, if you are looking for help in teaching your dog new commands, Pet360 has short videos available, plus other articles. See them now on Pet360.com.
DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by Pet360. I am being compensated for spreading the word about Pet360.com, but this blog only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers.