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Training Your Dog And Play: Improving The Fun

Did you know that play can be boring for you and your dog if it’s the same game over and over?


If you've been following our blog posts, you might already have a sense that training your dog and play can and should be one and same thing.  In fact, you might already have games that you play with your dog, but how do you know if it’s play he truly enjoys?


If your dog does any of these things during play, it may be an indicator that they’re not really enjoying playing it with you as much as you think they are:


  1. Running off with the toy and not having any interest bringing it back to you to play

  2. Dropping the toy as soon as the game is over and losing interest in interacting with you

  3. It’s a fight to get your dog to want to let go of the toy so you can start the game again

  4. You need obedience commands to bring your dog back to keep the game going (in other words, your dog doesn’t freely offer this behavior on her own)


At some point, it becomes uninteresting to both you and your dog, and if that’s the case, what’s the point in playing?  Worse yet, how can you use it in training if it no longer brings any fun?


And what happens when we get bored?  We go into autopilot.  There’s less thinking involved.  You’re less present.  And so is your dog.  But isn’t playing with your dog about being present and enjoying the time you’re spending together?  


So - here’s some things that we can do to make working with your dog and play more fun:

  1. Add more ways of getting the reward.

  2. Make the game harder (but not impossible) to win for each of you.

  3. Create ways to make both of you think quick on your feet together


Let’s show a quick demo of what this looks like:





When we do this, playing with your dog benefits you also in the following ways:  


  1. Better concentration and focus

  2. Better decision making skills on the fly

  3. Faster speed and reaction time from my dog (since they never know what I’m going to call next)

  4. More excitement and enjoyment for both of us

  5. Better accuracy to obedience commands

  6. More concentration and discipline even in the rewards they’re allowed to win in that moment.


Inspired on making your own games more fun for your dog?  Let us know what games you’ve played and what you’ve done to make them more fun for you and your dog!  We’d love to know!

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