How-To: Teach Your Pug Six Popular Tricks


Once your Pug knows a few basic obedience commands, such as Sit and Down, then he can begin doing some tricks.

Play Dead

One popular trick to teach your Pug is to play dead. This is a simple trick to teach. Give your dog the command to lie down. Once he’s lying down you will need to hold a treat where your dog can see and smell it. Then move it in circles toward the floor and tell your dog to “play dead.” This will encourage your dog to roll over and he should eventually be lying on his back if you keep moving the treat. Once your dog is in position you can give him the treat and give him lots of praise. It may take a few tries before your Pug puts it all together, but it’s a very cute trick once he learns it.


Many Pugs learn how to rollover, which is taught the same way as playing dead. You simply keep the dog rolling from one side to the other so he can get his treat. Use treats to lure your dog into position.

Shake Hands

You can also teach your Pug to shake hands. This is also easy to teach with some treats. Ask your Pug to sit, then tell him to “shake.” Reach out and pick up his paw to shake hands. Give him his treat and offer lots of praise. You will need to do this several times until your Pug figures things out. While your Pug is learning, be sure to praise and reward him for any attempts he makes to shake even if they don’t quite work. If he lifts his paw or scratches at you those are steps in the right direction. It won’t take long for your Pug to start shaking your hand when you ask.

High Five

Once your dog learns to shake hands it's easy to teach him to give you a “high five.” Simply hold out your hand for a shake and when your dog starts to shake your hand move your hand to an upward position. Say, “High Five!” and let your dog touch your hand with his paw. Give him lots of praise and treats for touching your hand with his paw.


It’s also fun to teach your Pug to bow. Pugs are such clowns and performers that this trick will come in handy. Ask your dog to sit. Then, with a treat in your hand hold it in front of his nose and say “bow.” Move the treat toward your Pug’s chest. He should move his head to try to follow the treat. This will put him in the bowing position. When he does this little bow you can reward him and give him lots of praise. With practice the bow can become more elaborate.


You can teach your Pug to speak on command. This is an easy trick. Simply wait until your Pug barks and say, “Good bark!” Praise your dog for barking and give him a treat. You can teach your dog to wait until you ask for the bark (this is great for dogs who bark too much!). Your dog will be silent because he’s waiting for the bark command -- and the treats that go with it.

You can make up your own tricks for your Pug to learn. Maybe he's good at finding your husband? Give that trick a name and reward him when he does it. Can he fetch the remote? Give it a name and reward him so you can ask him to do it for you. Does your Pug like to dance? Many Pugs love to entertain so let them show off and give them praise and treats when they have something they want to show you. There's no limit to what you and your Pug can come up with together. Have fun with it!


KatB (almost 9 years ago)

I am so ashamed at myself! I teach odedience, and not one of my dogs, have I taught to do these cute tricks! I really need to teach them this. Thanks Shpigford! I'm going to work on it. LOL!  Great tips on training.

RosienMikeysMom (over 8 years ago)

curtcastle2005...the way i taught rosie and mikey was, i had them sit and while holding a treat in my hand, i put it my hand down in front of them on the floor and said "down".  that forces them to lay down to sniff what's in your hand. when they did that, they got the treat. after doing that a few times...they got it. i hope i explained it right.

Pepperpug_uk (over 7 years ago)

Pepper just graduated in the top 3 of her puppy training classes and guess what the only thing she could not do was?? lay down! I had to sit on the floor with her, hoping she would crawl under my leg to get the treat!

KatB (over 7 years ago)

curtscastle, To get your pug to lay down can be done 3 ways. I teach obedience. HA!  First way. Put puggy in sit postion. Hold treat tightly between your tumb and first finger, and hold right above nose. Say sit, and bring treat straight down to the floor in front of puggy. Then treat when he/she does it.  Second way. Give command of sit! And push down on the shoulder blades and push puggy down to the floor and treat.  Third way. Put puggy in sit postion and pull front paws out in front and say Sit!  Once puggy goes down? Start adding the command stay. One thing to remember with all commands you give. Only use the dogs name in front of the command when you are going to heel/walk with them, and when you are calling your dog to you. All other commands are just the word. Like Sit, Down, Stand.  And have patients. If you are up tight and angry don't work with your dog. They know your emotions and feelings and won't work well if you are upset with them. Keep it short and fun.

laurakristen (almost 7 years ago)

I've never posted on here before, but this seems like a good place to start!  My Winston is six months old, he knows "sit" pretty well and I've been trying to teach him "down" but without much luck.  I've tried the techniques described above (ALL of them).  Problem is, when I bring the treat to the floor he doesn't follow it down - he just leans toward it and then when it's so far down that he can't lean any further, he gives up.  He won't let me put him in the "down" position myself, he just resists and gets back up on his feet.  I can tell he's frustrated, he wants the treat but it's like he just can't figure out how to do what I want him to do!  Any advice?  

puggsley (over 6 years ago)

i haven't started traing custard when he was 2 years old. not a good age to start training!!!!

dexter (about 6 years ago)

yeah!sort of...
my pug lill dexter dosent obey me....dosent do anything..except for eating sleeping shitting nd bitting!!
m so upset wth it!

Deano_22 (almost 6 years ago)

I taught Georgie to lay down last week after I mastered sit. While your pig is sat down say lay down or just down is easier for then to remember, slowly pull his front legs forward until he is laid down, then give a treat and just repeat took bout 5-10 mins for Georgie to learn lay down :D, hope this helps x

Paulinejmc80 (almost 6 years ago)

Hi every1 . I'm new to this just a little question Marley is 11 weeks old hes quite chunky but the only thing is that he wants to bite all the time and will he grow out of it?? And also I have a male bullmastiff can 2 males live in the house if my bullmastiff has been spayed xxx

yodapugmaster<3 (over 5 years ago)

Hey I'm new to this club I have a pug name Yoda and he is 4 months old.I am very happy to have him. We got him about 2 weeks ago. He loves to play and he loves to sleep. Yesterday for the first time I was playing with him and he finally stuck out his tongue, he was also running around like a maniac. I can't wait for these tricks I just can't. It will be so fun ! This was great and thanks

saintpuggletricks (over 5 years ago)

Hi, learned my pug to sit when he 10wks old tuk me about 20mins for him to catch on lol! He's 5mnths now, And iv jus learnd him to lay down in about half an hour :D then I taught him the play dead trick that tuk abit longer about an hour! And I'm so proud of my gorgus boy!

FRancisco (over 5 years ago)

Hi everyone. I have a 3 month old pug named TOBY. he's the best.He's catching on pertty good with these new tricks.I'll keep trying and hope that TOBY keeps obeying.

jewels54476 (over 5 years ago)

My cooper loves to get his treats for showing off. He loves to "get his tail" he will Chase and Chase it til everyone in the room is watching and he will bark if u forget his treat lol he knew that when we got him when he as 5 we taught him shake, high 5, sit, and working on roll over he a little pudgy so hard for him to roll all the way over lol but how he rolls over he plays dead with what this says so maybe we will leave it at that and work on play dead instead. Love my lil pooky bear ( his nickname from momma n he knows it lol)he learns quick!

Nikki (over 5 years ago)

My pug ,P.J and I just joined pugspot, and I know its been a while since anyone has posted on this link it seems, but I really need to know how to get P.J to quit biting at everything, even our hands, feet, arms, face, etc. please can someone help me with this? We love him so much, but it is getting hard to enjoy our time with him, and I know he thinks he's playing, but I don't want him to continue this as he grows into an adult. Also,I want to be able to snuggle and play with him, and it be enjoyable!

2pugs (over 5 years ago)

my boy pug who is 3yrs old can do all but bow. for play dead I call it the gun trick and I shoot him! He's very funny! my fawn girl who is 2yrs old can do some of these tricks.

Pugsly (about 1 year ago)

Im trying to teach my pug to bark so far it's not working i hold it up he'll just sit there and stare

Zuji (about 1 year ago)

~ Ha Ha! I know exactly what you mean

At age 15 weeks Zuji hasn't yet barked.

Soft whines? Little cat-like noises? Tiny frustration cries? All, Yes!

But barking, no. He hasn't yet found his voice, inner or outer.

PrincessTooba (9 months ago)

My puppy Tooba knows how to clean up all her toys
I wish I could teach her to open cabinets trying to get her a therapy and service dog license

pugcats (8 months ago)

omg I'm getting a new pug soon and i will definitely train it do do these