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PLAY! Pt 1

Posted by on February 7, 2014


So your dog won’t tug and you want to teach him?

Having a dog that loves to play with toys is a great benefit when training your dog. The tug game is a great way to reward behaviors, is an interactive experience with your dog that burns energy and builds rapport, and while tugging your dog’s main focus is on you!

Teaching your dog how to play ~

  • MAKE YOURSELF THE BEST GAME IN TOWN: Limit your dog’s access to reinforcement and fun, pick up all toys at home.  Limit your dog’s playing with other dogs and keep the fun only playing with you.
  • PLAY WHEN YOUR DOG IS FRISKY: Watch for the times of the day when your dog is the most the excited and engaged.  Use these times to work on playing. Get your dog engaged, awake, and excited before you start a play session.
  • YOU CAN’T HAVE IT: Hide a toy around the house  like on top of the counter or refrigerator and tease the dog with it every time you pass by the toy. Play with the toy by yourself, get the dog crazy over it but don’t let him have it. Put your dog in a crate, tie your dog to a fence and let your dog watch as you play tug with another dog or even by yourself. Until your dog is CRAZY your dog does not get to play the game. Tease your dog and make him crazy for the toy.
  • A TOY CAN BE ANYTHING YOUR DOG WANTS TO PUT IN HIS MOUTH: Experiment with different types of toys. Take some time and really study your dog. What does he like to put into his mouth? (Size, shape, texture, flavor, paper, plastic, round, leather, etc.)  Does he like squeaky toys or crunchy toys like water bottles?  Put a pile in the middle of the floor and let him check out and pick a few toys.  Let your dog show you the best way to get him interested in play.

Stay tuned – Part 2 coming soon!

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