Dog Training Exercises Need to Be Fun

>> 8/3/09

Even though dog training always starts with some excitement, it often ends up being a chore. You're too busy, your dog gets bored, you don't seem to be making progress....But it doesn't have to be like that. Some dog training exercises can be fun for the entire family if you try and use play as often as possible.

Dogs can sometimes get moody just like we can and if they don't feel like paying attention to you and performing, the training session probably won't be efficient. But if your dog thinks it's play time and you get him really interested, the training will be much more effective.

The "come" command is one of the most important and although it isn't that hard to learn, it is hard to get consistency. The world is an interesting place and your dog isn't going to always come when you call if there's something more interesting. The only way to get the consistency you want is through continuous re-enforcement. Doesn't sound like much fun does it? Well, our kids stumbled on an excellent exercise that we now use all the time and that has resulted in a consistent and conditioned response when we call our dogs. And that, is hide and seek!

Whenever you play this game, make sure your dog has an appetite and will want to come running for a treat. Let him know what you've got in your hand and then put him in a stay. Once he's sitting leave the room and go hide somewhere. Once you're in place call his name, or give the command you use when recalling him. He'll come running. When he shows up, give him a treat and lots of praise. Then repeat - put him in a stay, leave that room and go hide again. But have fun with it. Get into a closet, hide behind a door, climb into the bath tub. It's hilarious watching him run into a room and start sniffing around when he doesn't see you!

This is one of the favorite play activities for the kids. When they get found in some obscure place and get a big lick the howls of laughter are just wonderful. It's fun for them and fun for our dogs. And there's an additional benefit to making this a family activity. Your dog is learning to respond to a recall command from all members of the family - not just the primary trainer. Every time you or the kids go through this exercise, the recall is being re-enforced. And don't feel silly playing this game - it'll make you feel like a kid again and that's not a bad thing!

Of course, you can't make every dog training exercise a game. But dog obedience training doesn't have to be anything but rewarding. Use play whenever you can (there are several games you can use when leash training as well) and your dog training program will never feel like just a chore.

Dog Training Exercises Need to Be Fun by William Dexton

Author's Resource:

William Dexton is editor of a popular online dog obedience training site including many more tips to make dog training exercises fun

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