Great work! You've made it to the final trick. Your dog has mastered the basics now, moved on to harder and more advanced ones, and now you're ready to attempt Bang, the final, hardest, most extraordinary trick combination in this book. Now don't get discouraged before you even begin—it's not going to be easy, it will take a lot of work to master, but this is the single best show-stopper that's sure to leave your friends speechless. Your dog must be incredibly smart to have made it this far, and now he's just one trick away from knowing all 52. You can do it! Don't stop now!
A dog shows its teeth and growls, staring unblinking into a gun barrel. He stands protectively before its wounded master lying on the floor of a wet ally. It charges towards the gun. A muzzle-flash bolts in every direction. A lead bullet whisks through the air and strikes home. The dog stops in shock and its teeth fades from view.
It limps retreating from the gunman. It trips to the ground and crawls, crawls to its master. It reaches his side and whines. Rolls on its back, belly upturned, then is still.
A moment's pause. A voice in the sky authoritative and commanding deep and resonate over all things: "CUT" it says. Everything around flips with action, speeding movements in a whirlwind of excitement. The voice speaks again: "Check the gate."
The dog jumps to its paws and looks around, panting. A man chants over a headset to a person invisible. He pets the dog and feeds it a large treat. "Good boy, Max!" he says, "get ready for the next take, buddy."
Step 1: Tell your dog to limp, crawl, and play dead, clicking and treating after he performs each action.
Step 2: Now, give him all three commands again, this time keeping the treat until the end. Repeat several times.
Step 3: Now say "BANG!" before giving the three commands and while he is in his "play dead" position. Click and treat.
Step 4: Continue to practice this, eventually getting rid of your three initial commands so that he does all three together as soon as he hears "BANG!"
The biggest challenge here is the individual tricks themselves. Caspian had to be well-acquainted with each of the individual tricks, and so we began by drilling them over and over again. The hardest one of these, by far, was limp. Once he was able to perform this consistently, we began to string them together. Once you have the individual tricks down, putting them together isn't as much of a challenge. However, repetition is key, and if you're working on a trick such as Bang as a performance trick for your next barbeque, make sure you drill it over and over again in different parts of the house. We found that Caspian can perform a trick perfectly in one room—but if we try it in a different part of the house, he has trouble. When teaching tricks such as this one, teach in a wide variety of places. Be creative: maybe train some at a local dog park. If your dog can perform amidst all the distractions and interesting things going on around him, you've been highly successful.
My dog will respond, but it takes him too long to get it.
Work with your dog to obey you right as you give this command for a great performance. But if your dog is too excited when you want to show him off, you can still make things fun. If he doesn't respond to "Bang" right away, just shrug and say, "So sometimes I'm not that great of a shot."
Tip: "You could also add 'Speak' as a yelp of pain to make the demonstration even more thrilling!"