Dog training activities can include a simple game of catch.
Dog training activities & resources found on this page will provide all the info!
Simply playing catch we can condition a "sit" and "stay", then "release" as we toss the ball into the air. These extremely basic obedience commands can be sharpened in a fun game that is very effective in keeping your pup sharp.
The truth is that dog training activities are a lot of fun and establish a bond between you and your dog, and this is the reason we continue to work with our dogs day in and day out, year in and year out. On certain days we can have a brief session to reinforce the basic commands. On other days we can be creative and devise dog training activities that are designed to develop our dog's particular skills.
A game of hide and seek with a favorite toy is another example. Here we can stimulate the natural instinct of scent and incorporate "away commands" while the dog is off searching. This is also a great time to work on your "recall" command as the dogs mind will surely be distracted and focused elsewhere.
Of course the training includes reward and praise and as trainers we relish the expressions on a dog's face when we praise with a "good job". We could be training a hunting dog, a trick dog or the family pet but they're always going to lap up our approval.
Training and exercise promote things in our dog like stamina, good health, a good disposition and good behavior. Pretty good for starters, right? And the main reason for dog training activities is, we're telling our canine friends we love them and care about them.
I talk a lot about having the basic commands in place because we certainly need that. Sit, stay and down seem to remain locked in pretty well, but it's my experience many family dogs need periodic reinforcement on the recall command. Recall is probably the hardest of the basic commands to keep solidly in place every time. Training for this is a perfect opportunity to have fun with dog training activities.
A park or field offers excellent distractions..
A park or a field is a great place because you can work all the basics including recall over a distance. There are also many new sights, scents, sounds and distractions that will offer you the opportunity to work on focus. This is where trainers like to be clever in devising their own drills. For recall a long lead works to physically retrieve the dog if it isn't responding on command. Any way you do it, when the dog comes, have it sit then reward and praise. Positive reinforcement is the key.
About twenty minutes, twice a day and you can abandon the lead when you see progress. Consistency on a daily basis will have the dog coming to you on command in a couple of weeks. For advanced recall training you can work the dog in a place where there are other dogs or some type of distractions. Dog parks are a great place to refine the recall training because you can gauge the progress in an energetic environment, and you'll know how much more training is needed.
Another fun dog training activity..
Is teaching the dog to respond to hand and voice commands over a distance. Start with a toy the dog likes to retrieve, get the dog playing then fake a throw and the dog will take off in that direction. Quickly toss the toy off to one side, call the dog to get its attention, then make a gesture as if you just threw the ball where it happens to be. Give a sound command at the same time and hold the hand signal in that direction.
Giving a sound command like a whistle or a crisp word at the same time you make the gesture will load that sound into the training routine. Once the dog sees the toy and brings it, reward, praise and do the routine again with the gesture and the sound command.
The advanced version of this dog training activity is point to an object, give the voice command and the dog retrieves it. Fun stuff to work on and the reward is a whole lot of fun with your dog. With any dog training activity that involves a good amount of exercise you might keep the reward in your pocket and break it out at special times. As long as the dog is enthusiastic, you're both doing fine.
If you happen to have a dog with exceptional skills or a talent for something, you might consider developing this for competitions. A lot of canine activities are scheduled through community organizations, and checking the calendar of events could give you some ideas where you can enter your dog. Once you know the events, you'll know what to train for and then the fun begins all over again
I look forward to hearing from you if you have some questions or want to share some success stories about your dog training games and activities.
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