Rain Rain go away…

Our yard is mud. Its rained off and on for the last few weeks.  Its January and its cold.  WAlking these poor dogs doesn’t feel like an option.  What do you do with a young dog when its nasty out and they haven’t had exercise?  You guessed it, TRAIN!

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When you are training a dog with a lot of energy its a great idea to get them moving.  For example taking a hyper dog and working on stays is going to be very difficult.  There are two games I like to play that expend a lot of energy.

1) Target training.

I like this game because I can create  a lot of distance pretty easily.  Get a lid to a tupperware bowl – hold it out and ask your dog to sniff it (I say touch).  When they do, say “yes” and give a treat.  Repeat this a number of times and then start moving around.  You can even put your dog in a sit stay while you move around the room. Now, put the object on the floor, see if you can get the same behavior.  If you can you just created a fun game – run out, touch it, come back to me for the reward!  Obviously it may take some learning time but most dogs pick up really fast.

2) Place.

This is training a dog to lay down on command on something.  You treat the matt like a bullseye – and walk in circles around it asking for the down command. Once your dog is offering it, you can call it place or matt- whatever you like.  With dog training try to move slowly.  Wait for several right responses before you make it more difficult.  Once your dog lays down, toss a treat to the side, they will run and get it, and then you can ask for the behavior again.  Slowly create more distance between yourself and the mat and you have not only a training game, but a way to wear out your dog!

Have fun and happy training.

Author: Amy Dunphy

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