Tails of the City

Tails of the City

Rosemary Jean-Louis

How to Teach Dogs Any Tricks from Norman the Scooter Dog

By Rosemary Jean-LouisPosted September 20, 2013 11:31am (EDT)
Norman the Scooter dog poses on the red carpet at Barkworld Expo 2013

Norman the Scooter dog poses on the red carpet at Barkworld Expo 2013


Norman the Scooter Dog is proof that you can teach dogs any trick. You just have to create a positive learning environment. Norman's amazing trainer and owner Karen Cobb did that. As a result Norman has become famous for riding scooters and bikes. He's currently awaiting confirmation from the folks at the Guiness Book of World Records on whether he is the fastest scooter riding dog in the world.

I met Norman and Karen at Barkworld Expo, the social media conference for pets and their loving owners/pet parents last month. Given how social and smart Norman is, I was surprised to learn that his breed, french sheep dogs are generally timid.But Cobb said she worked around that personality trait and coaxed Norman to train everyday when he was a puppy. It turned out he "loved it" mainly because of how Karen trained him: lots of positive reinforcement and fun. Here is her advice on how to teach your dogs any trick.

  • Make training fun.
  • Use lots of treats.
  • Reward your dog with affection - scratching, rubs.
  • Keep the tricks simple.

    She further notes that if your dog is not picking up certain tricks, you are probably asking too much of him or her.

Watch Norman in action riding his scooter at the Welcome Party for Barkworld Expo 2013


Norman demonstrates some of his other tricks.

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