This is Part 1 of How to Get Your Dog to Like You… (See Your Dog Probably Doesn’t Like You)
People who regularly play interactive games with their dogs have healthier and happier relationships with them. Dogs are social creatures and they require regular interaction to thrive. I encourage you to make engaging games a part of your daily routine. Finding games that appeal to your dog’s natural instincts will bring out the best in them. Regular walks and feeding time are great routines for a dog but getting engagement through games will give you more opportunities to challenge them, and establish an deeper bond through understanding.
Too many dog owners think play for their dog means letting him run wild. There is a time and place for just running around, but by making play sessions productive you’re stimulating your dog’s brain and actually training him to be more responsive to your commands. Below are a few games you can play with your dog that will help you build a better relationship.
Next, thing you want to do is grab another toy and repeat the game with that toy. Once you think your dog knows the name of both the toys, put them both on the ground and tell the dog to go get one of the toys by name. Reward the dog with treats and praise every time he gets it right. Repeat this until you are certain your dog knows the names. If you have an extremely smart pup who gets both of the toys’ names, try introducing more objects to his vocabulary.
Once your dog starts to catch on to the game, mix things up by changing what behaviors you ask for and how long you wait before re-starting the game. Dance Freeze Dance is not only fun and engaging, but it helps teach your dog self-control as he learns to respond to your cues even when he’s excited. Make sure you end the game clearly. For example tell your dog “All done!” then just sit down and ignore him. If you use the same phrase every time, your dog will learn that it signifies the end of play. Ignore all attempts to reel you back in – otherwise, he’ll learn that pestering you to start again works.
Try these fun games out and next week we’ll dive into one of my favorites… Playing Tug!