Dog Training Through Play!

04 March 2015
Learning the basic doggy commands can actually be all fun and games! Here’s how.
Playing with your doggy on a regular basis isn’t just a great way to keep both of you in shape. It’s also the best way to build a healthy relationship based on mutual trust and respect. Your dog is just itching for you to take him out and bond with him. But before you do, remember to follow these simple rules:
-Keep play sessions short. This will enable your dog to stay interested through the entire session, and prevent him from getting over excited or even running off. 
-Continue play as long as your dog wants, not as long as you want! Otherwise your dog may get bored or begin to disobey. 
-Don’t play the same game over and over. Switch it up! This will keep your dog’s interest and work your dog’s reflexes.
“Leave it”
The goal of this command is to get your dog to drop whatever it has in its mouth. To teach this command, first show your doggy a treat, and then say “Leave it”. When your dog drops the item in its mouth in favor of the treat, give him the treat along with loads of praise.
Be sure to use a ball, which will fit in your dog’s mouth but is not too small that he could choke on it. For starters, throw the ball up high but at a close distance. When your dog manages to catch it, lavish on the praise and give him a treat. As your dog gets better, throw the ball farther and farther away. When he gets really good, switch to a Frisbee! Now that’s a sight!
Hide and Seek with Fido
A really fun game you can play with your pooch is Hide and Seek. First tell your dog to “sit” and then to “stay”. Next find an easy close by place to hide. Call out “come” or your dog’s name, and when your dog finds you, give him a treat and lavish him with praise. 
Soccer with Rover
Use a ball that’s too big for your dog to bite or pick up in his mouth. Kick it towards him. When your dog realizes he cannot pick it up, he will inevitably bump it with his nose or paws. Encourage this behavior with treats!
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