Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer: Blog Edition: April 2012

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

PE For Wally 6 - Working Through Zoomies

Like probably every dog, Wally gets those seeming sudden, out-of-nowhere bursts of energy we sometimes call "zoomies". When this happens for Wally, he blazes around, just running and running.

So I thought - maybe there's some way we can use this time for something other than him just doing...whatever it is dogs do when they get zoomies.

When he gets like this, I tell him something to do. For example, he's having zoomies, I throw his ball somewhere and tell him "Find your ball! Donde esta pelota?!"

Once it gets through to him, he's running around trying to find his ball (it looks crazy too. You'd think he'd slow down. Ha! No.) So he's darting around, and I'm repeating the task. Eventually, he does find it and then he shakes the heck out of the ball and charges back to me.

So I start him going running around again. I pull his hair a little and stuff and he's charging around again. Then I throw the ball and repeat the instruction.

Then I mix it up. I might ask for a recall while moving in a different spot. So he has to find me and follow my voice. I'll mix up a go-around the pole of the basketball hoop or a tree trunk. Then maybe finding the ball again. And so on.

After about five minutes of that, he's slowing down, but I'm keeping it going. Then maybe 5-10 minutes later, he's moving decidedly slower and then it's time to call it.

The look on his face is like he just had tons of fun, almost like a look of relief maybe. One more thing we can do outside, and now at least when these zoomies happen, there's something we can do with them.