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How to Teach Your Dog One of the Oldest Dog Tricks: ‘On Trust’ & ‘Paid For’

by admin

How many of you have an idea as to what that means in relation to your fur baby? If you do, you might be an old-timer like me!!

Have you ever seen the old dog trick “On Trust & Paid For” performed by a well-trained dog?

The Story of this Trick shortly

“On Trust” & “Paid For” for are one of the oldest and most entertaining dog tricks that afford as much acting as anything a dog can do since the early 1900s. I am not sure how often this very disciplined trick is performed nowadays, but it was a tried and proven people-pleaser during the heyday of the traveling big tent circus. There are several variations of the dog trick On Trust & Paid For so why don’t we take look at what this trick is and a few of the versions.

How to Teach your Dog the Trick

It is not the easiest dog trick to be taught but can be elaborated on and presented in several different forms to impress many people.

To show and teach this trick to your furry friend, call your beloved four legged friend to you (a dog trainer can make this too), allowing him to stand up or sit down, as he desires, and hold his head steady with on hand, while you balance a piece of treat on his nose.

Say to him, “On trust, on trust,” balancing and restraining his head from moving with one hand and holding up a threatening finger with the other and saying again and again words, “On trust, on trust”.

The next part of the trick is when you or his trainer give the “paid for” command. You have to release his head, saying “paid for,” and give him a little chuck under the chin, that will cause him to toss the treat up and catch it.  At this point the dog snaps his or her head up tossing the treat in the air. As the treat comes back down the dog catches it before it can hit the ground. The pooch then eats the treat as their reward for a trick well performed

Of course, in his earlier attempts he will not be able to catch the treat, but he should be allowed to eat the treat after it land on the floor.

Continuous repetition of this training will produce efficiency. Over time you should stop restraining his head with your hand and allow him to balance the treat on his nose until you give him the words “Paid for.”

He can also be taught also to hold the treat between his teeth and not to swallow it until told to do so. This trick can be made more impressive by holding a conversation with your dog. For instance, you might say: “Buddy, old man, here is a very yummy piece of treat, but it is ‘on trust.’”

Slightly emphasize the word “trust” and then go on and say: “I am glad you dislike to eat things on trust, but this I have just learned has been ‘paid for,’” emphasizing the words “paid for.”

Your pet dog can also be taught to toss the treat on hearing a certain number. To teach this, balance it on his nose and hold his head while you count plainly and deliberately, one, two, three, and then chuck him under the chin. Until he has had a great deal of practice he will toss it up as promptly at one, two, four, as he will at one, two, three, but he must be drilled until he will not toss it until he hears “three,” and it will make it easier for him if you slightly emphasize the “THREE” word.

In time you can use many combinations of figures and he will wait until he hears the emphasized “three.” In working him do not make him wait too long before you say “three,” and allow him to eat the pet treat.



“Trust” and “Paid For” dog tricks are considerably difficult to master and requires a lot of patience from you or a dog trainer. Remember, do not punish your beloved four-legged friend if he can’t master the trick, and rather blame yourself for being a lousy dog trainer and teacher. 🙂 In any case, enjoy training and have lots of fun along the way.

As I mentioned above this is very advanced dog trick training so if you feel you are up to the challenge of the dog trick “On Trust & Paid For” give it a try. Once you and your beloved pet dog have this down pat it will be time to impress all your friends!

Does your pet dog perform difficult and complex tricks? Please tell our members and readers here all about them.

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