Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Blast #2

Hi folks,

Welcome to my 2nd Summer Blast.  I hope you are all having a great summer!  I know we are.  I am still working on the final draft of my training manual (too many nice weather days!), those who have requested updates will get them before September.  I am also working on a major update to my web site, so if you go to (or send someone to) right now you will be redirected to my blog.  Hopefully it won’t take me too long to get the new web site up and running again.

The good news is – I have loaded the REGISTRATION LINK FOR GROUP CLASSES onto the blog.  For those of you who are anxious to reserve your spot in class here it is. Please feel free to contact me (email works best) if you have any questions about how group sign up works.  All the instructions are detailed at the top of the page.

For this edition of my Summer Blast I would like to encourage you all to bring fun into your relationship with your dog.  Remember that training while necessary, should also be fun not only for your dog, but for you!  With that in mind, below are some of the fun games I’ve gleaned that you can play with your dog or puppy.  If you are working with a new puppy, remember to make it easy so they don’t get frustrated and give up.

One note about games:  Don’t play any game to excess or it starts to look and feel like a training exercise!  Remember you never want your dog to walk away from a game, always quite while they still want to keep playing, that keeps  the game fresh and fun and they will look forward to playing it again the next time you offer.

Hide and seek
If you have two people – have someone hold your dog while you find a place to hide (remember to keep it easy for beginners). When you are ready, call your dog and wait until he finds you. When he does, make sure that you praise him and reward with a favorite treat.  You can play this in the woods off leash by waiting until your dog isn’t looking and hiding behind a tree.  If they need a bit of help call their name, clap your hands or make kissy noises to get them started.

The Run Away Game

This is a simple game to reinforce the dog for coming to you.  In a secure area (fenced in yard or big field) let your dog wander a big, then show the dog that you have yummy treats, when he starts toward you drop a couple treats at your feet and immediately run away.  The dog will likely run and eat the treats and when done look up to see where you’ve gone.  As soon as he looks up click or say Yes! And drop a couple more treats at your feet and run away.  Pretty soon the dog will be automatically eating and running to wherever you are and you will likely not have time to even say yes.  The game ends with lots of praise and treats when you can’t get away from your dog!

Keep Away/Monkey in the Middle

This is a two person game and is one for dogs who like to chase things.  Get a ball that your dog really likes to play with.  Sit 10-15 feet away from the other person.  Show your dog the ball and when he comes for it roll it to the other person.  Remember that nobody likes to be monkey in the middle all the time so you may have to let your dog get the ball a few times to keep their interest.  Also, when your dog does get the ball PARTY!  Yell happy noises and celebrate with your dog, after a minute or two, offer your dog a treat for the return of the ball so you can continue to play.

I would love to hear about games you’ve found that work with your dog and encourage you all to post any additional games on my blog where this notice will also be posted.

Have a happy, fun filled rest of your summer!

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