A dog can be trained to play soccer.

Dogs have significant learning capabilities.Training your dog to play soccer is a great way to teach it new skills.The best way to teach your dog to play soccer is to clicker-train it to identify a target, then teach it how to dribble a soccer ball and score a goal.

Step 1: Purchase a clicker at a store.

A clicker is a hand-held dog training device that makes a "click" when pushed.When your dog does the desired behavior, you press the device.You reward the dog with a treat.Your pet will associate that behavior with rewards.When the dog performs a behavior, pressing the clicker is more effective than saying "Good dog."The sound of a clicker is unchanging and the dog hears it at the exact moment a behavior occurs.

Step 2: Your dog will associate the sound of the click with a reward.

Prepare several small pieces of a highly desirable treat, such as bits of hotdog or boiled chicken.Press the clicker and give your dog a treat.Repeatedly do the clicker-treat action."charging the clicker" is when you teach your dog to pay attention.Special treats keep your dog's enthusiasm for the clicker high as you can switch rewards later on in the training session.

Step 3: Your dog should be trained to identify a target.

Before training your dog to play soccer, teach it how to identify a target.Put your hand in front of your dog's face and look at the dog.Click the clicker to give your dog a treat when he sniffs your hand.This should be repeated at least 3 times.To train your dog to find the target in a different location, begin moving your hand to either side or up and down.Reward your dog when it sniffs your hand.Clicker training depends on timing.Click when your dog does the desired behavior.The ball will be the target when you teach your dog to play soccer.

Step 4: A distraction-free area is where you should take your dog.

Dogs get distracted easily, so choose a quiet place like a basement, fenced backyard, or local athletic field after practice.A park full of kids or other dogs is a good place to avoid playing in.A soccer ball, a soccer goal, small treats, and a clicker are all you need.

Step 5: Reward your dog for playing with the ball.

If the soccer ball gets ruined, use an old one or a dog-proof ball.Reward your dog for looking at the ball.Roll the soccer ball to get your dog to pay attention to it.Click and give your dog a treat when he targets the ball.Keeping the ball under your control is very important.Don't let your dog play with the ball during training.

Step 6: Reward your dog for touching the ball.

Encourage your dog to touch the ball with its nose or paw in order to get a click and a treat.Roll the ball around a bit because your dog might be more likely to touch it when it's moving.

Step 7: Your dog will be rewarded for moving the ball with its nose or paws.

If your dog is used to touching the ball, you can stop giving it rewards for that part of the task.When your dog pushes the ball with its nose or paws, click and give it a reward.Continue practicing until your dog pushes the ball 10–15 feet at a time.During this part of the training, be precise.The goal is to get your dog to dribble the ball.

Step 8: Your dog should push the ball into the goal.

The soccer ball should be in front of the goal.Your dog can learn a new trick by moving the ball with its nose or paws into the goal.Continue until your dog pushes the ball into the goal.Move the ball further away from the goal as your dog gets the hang of the trick, and wait to click until you can reinforce the behavior by pushing it.

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