Teaching your dogs how to play games is a great way to build a strong bond with your furry family member as well as teach your dog that obedience training is fun. Dogs don’t only need regular exercise to maintain good health, they love it. But dogs don't know how to play with people until you teach them. And it’s important to teach them games that also reinforce obedience and impulse control.
Fetch is the most popular game we play with our dogs. But it’s important that we train our dogs to play fetch properly. When you train your dog to grab their toy and bring it back to you, you should never pull the toy from their mouth. Fetch is a great game to teach your dog to drop what’s in their mouth and reinforce the “drop it” command that is crucial in obedience training. It’s also excellent for expelling energy and building strength.
A flirt pole is a fantastic toy to use when you play with your dog or puppy. They’re especially great for high energy dogs because they can tire them out very quickly. A flirt pole is a long pole with a rope attached to the end. At the end of the rope, you attach a toy or lure that entices your dog to chase. Playing flirt pole with your dog will not only be good exercise, it can also be mentally stimulating. You should practice impulse control and letting go on command. Remember to make it fun by letting your dog catch the lure and rewarding this accomplishment. Flirt pole is great for kids too because it keeps your dog’s mouth further away from the person playing.
Tug of war is a very fun game for dogs and an excellent opportunity to teach basic obedience. The basic rule for tug is that the game stops if your dog’s teeth touch your skin. This reinforces that biting and nipping at people is bad behavior because the fun stops when it happens. Playing tug is also an opportunity to teach the “drop it” command.
Teaching dogs how to play games and incorporating play into obedience training has never been easier with the Sniffy App. This free app provides video tutorials and customized plans for dog training that puts certified dog trainers’ knowledge and expertise in the palm of your hand. Try Sniffy today, it’s available in the App Store and Google Play.
"We are reinforcing good behaviors with a positive method and it works for a much better bond."
-Becky Rene, Sniffy Trainer