"All-Positive Monday 23" - Day of Games | Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer: Blog Edition

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Monday, September 5, 2011

"All-Positive Monday 23" - Day of Games

Today, instead of trying to teach him something new, it was just a day of playing lots of different games with him, and having some fun.

First game as letting him try to "hunt" and "kill" some "prey". I put a treat in my hand and held it closed while moving it around on the floor. He had to find my hand (sometimes I would hide it under something, or use my non-treat hand as a decoy scent by holding the treat in it for just a second) and then he had to "catch" it by putting a paw on it.

I moved my hand around quickly in erratic movements, sometimes freezing for a couple seconds, then start moving again or let him pounce and move at the last instant so he didn't get it. To add to the excitement, I pulled on his paws a little. That really got him going! He really really wanted to get my hand now, and then I'd put it on his back and hold on and he would try to get it off. He even stood on his back legs and put his front paws around my arm! That earned him a treat right there.

I did the same thing, except this time with a piece of rawhide. He's getting the hang of it by now and he's slapping at it with his front paws, making contact more often. When he earned the "kill" he got to chew on it for about 30 seconds.

Next up was some fun with the ball. We did some catching, but also some retrieving and having him look for the ball. To do the last part, I distracted him with his reward for getting the ball, and tossed the ball while he wasn't looking. I'd then say "Pelota! Dónde está pelota?" Getting him to look around for the ball. I didn't point the ball out to him, he had to find it - and when he did, he got a nice batch of treats for his efforts.

Since we were already outside, we revisited the Station-to-Station game we made up for teaching "go around". It's been a while since we last played it, so I was wondering if he remembered - and he did. We had a lot of fun with it. I think he really enjoyed the running too, not often he gets to run.

By this time, it was time for his dinner and a well-deserved nap after all that fun! He didn't want to quit, but with his tongue hanging out of his mouth, he was definitely tiring. He laid himself out and is sleeping soundly as I type.