Shelter pets love learning new tricks

We all know pets love treats. But most wouldn’t turn down the chance to try a new trick, either. And that’s a very good thing, because learning tricks isn’t just a lot of fun, it can also help shelter pets sharpen their communication skills by learning to be patient and listen — two great tools that can help them find the best reward of them all: a loving home.

Truth is, all pets have the capacity to learn new things, whether it’s mastering the art of the high five or how to leap in the air like an NBA player. And that includes animals at shelters. All they need are the teachers and maybe a little space to practice their new moves (and yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks, too).

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Of course, trickery isn’t just a canine affair. Cats are famously curious and make excellent students. Horses like to have fun, too — especially by flashing their pearly whites.

Dr. Frank teaching tricks to Mozart the cat

Take a look at photos and videos of animals from Best Friends locations across the country doing their favorite tricks.

Picture this: You walk in your front door after a tough day and your cat greets you with a high five to remind you how awesome you are. Lightfoot shows you how it’s done.

 

Here’s River, all smiles for the camera.

 

Dogs at Strut Your Mutt in New York City taking part in agility training.
Dogs at Strut Your Mutt in New York City taking part in agility training

Nochi shows us how he spins and waves. (Spoiler alert: He nails it.)

 

Raleigh gets a good training session in at the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles.
Raleigh gets a good training session in at the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles

Simon loves to jump rope.

 

And check out Wrigley’s medley of tricks.

 

Addison the dog to likes to put tennis balls on the table so people will throw them to her. She loves leaping in the air to catch them, and she’s great at it.
Addison the dog to likes to put tennis balls on the table so people will throw them to her

OK, so these kittens aren’t at Addison’s level quite yet, but they have cuteness. mastered.
Kittens learn to play tennis
It's tennis lessons for these two kittens

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Photos by Best Friends staff