After their dog begins understanding basic commands and manners, many dog owners wonder if the training days are over. But this doesn’t need to ever happen as most dogs are very intelligent, especially those from reputable breeders such as the ones you can find on Pawrade.com. Intelligent breeds of dogs can continue to learn new commands and games throughout their life.
Adding training games to your dog’s life that allow him to problem solve and get mental and physical exercise is one of the best ways to interact and spend valuable time with your pet while helping him be happier and lead a more fulfilled life.
Fetch is a great game for all dogs to learn because it involves multiple steps and commands that are useful to know in other situations. The most important of these commands is simply the recall which is the biggest part of the game. This behavior is self-rewarding in the fetch game as it results in the toy being thrown again. Once your dog has learned that returning the toy to you will result in the game continuing, give him his recall command as he comes back every time.
Your dog will also learn to pick up an item and to release it when commanded, which are also very important skills that your dog needs to reliably know for his own safety and for your convenience. Besides all that, fetch is a game with Dog Training toys that most dogs love and it’s an excellent way to get more exercise for working breeds who are not content with a simple walk.
#9 Balance Board
A balance board can be as fun for your dog as it is for you, and great mental and physical exercise. While many dogs may be uncertain about a balanced board at first, eventually they will learn to step onto it and retain their position. Once they’re comfortable stepping on and off the balance board you can start adding commands so they can learn to maintain specific positions such as stand, sit, and down.
Using a balance board also gives a dog more confidence when on moving objects and a better understanding of where his back feet are-something many dogs don’t have a natural knowledge of.
#8 Round Robin Recall
The round-robin recall is a game that will help your pup expend a lot of energy while reinforcing her recall. This game works best with puppies who are old enough to know their name and have begun learning to come when called. To play the round-robin recall you just need to go into an open space such as a backyard with your dog and several friends or family members. Stand in a large circle while one of you holds your puppy.
Take turns excitedly calling her and then rewarding her with a treat or praise. As she gets more excited you can go faster around the circle as long as she’s still getting lots of rewards.
#7 Treat Hunt
The treat hunt is a great way to teach your dog to use his nose and it’s a good way to entertain and exercise board puppies on days you can’t go out. The basic idea of the treat hunt is to hide treats around the house and then send your dog to find them. Place your pup in a stay or have a family member hold him. Within his vision place several treats on the floor. Use a command such as “find it” and release your pup to gobble his treats.
Repeat this but gradually make the treats harder to find, farther away, and begin placing them out of his sight. Do this in a way that he can still see you placing the treat, such as behind the edge of the couch or behind the door. Eventually, work your way into other rooms and hide the treats and harder and harder places. This is an especially great game to set up for your dog when you have to leave him home alone.
#6 Agility Obstacle Course
Many dogs love the challenge and exercise they get from running an agility course. As these courses are becoming more common and can now be found in many dog parks you may have one nearby that you can use. You can also build temporary or cheap obstacle courses in your own yard. Many of the features such as the jumps can easily be built or constructed with materials that you already have around your house.
Don’t worry about making these features according to official agility standards if you’re only using them for fun and exercise. If you aren’t planning on competing you can also add inventive obstacles of your own. I once had a dog who loved to go down the slide, for example. A playground is also an excellent place for dogs to play and learn agility commands as long as no children are present.
#5 Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is one of the best games for your dog to learn as it gives her a mental challenge, and exercise, and reinforces the recall. To teach your dog to play hide and seek, simply have another person hold her while, within her sight, you dart into another room. Call her eagerly and when she runs in after you greet her exuberantly with a treat and praise. After a few repetitions of this, she will know exactly what’s coming and you can start adding a command. Most dogs pick up on this game very quickly and within a day or so you can begin to step behind doors or hide behind beds as long as you’re still easy to find.
Eventually, you can play this game throughout the whole house. Your partner can take your dog outside, you can hide without the dog’s knowledge, and your partner can give her the command to come and start searching for you. Be sure to change it up and take turns hiding so she learns to hunt for other people.
#4 Named Toys
Many dogs enjoy the challenge of learning specific names for their toys. Eventually, they can be told to go find a certain toy and they can sort it out from the others and retrieve it. Introduce these words as you would any command by simply saying the name, giving the toy, and then rewarding. Start with Training Game toys for Dogs and name them at a time and don’t move to another one until your dog can reliably and consistently choose that toy from among the others.
This is a great game for super smart breeds such as poodles, border collies, and other working breeds as the mental challenge keeps them entertained and out of trouble. There is even one famous border collie who learned over a thousand names for his massive collection of toys!
#3 Put Your Toys Away
Many dogs have learned to put their toys away and enjoy this activity as much as playing with them. To teach multi-step commands it works best if you start with the last step first. For example, the last step in putting your toys away is to release the toy into its basket. In order to train this, stand next to the basket, command your dog to hold her toy, and then command her to release it. If she only knows how to release a toy when you’re holding it just take it and then immediately drop it into the basket.
Reward the behavior. After several repetitions, begin naming the behavior such as saying “put your toys away” while you are giving the treat. Once you can remove the queuing commands such as “give”, and he’s reliably dropping the toy when you give the command you can begin adding another step.
Next, work on having him follow the command from farther and farther away. Do this very gradually because at first, he might try to drop the toy on the ground instead of in the basket. Simply give him the toy back, the point at the basket, or walk him to the basket, and repeat the command. The final step in this task will be to have the dog learn to pick up the toys rather than having you hand them to him. This is an easy step to add as most dogs already know how to pick up their toys on command. While this game can take weeks or months to learn, it’s fun and rewarding for the dog and, of course, even better for you.
#2 The Running Down
Running down is a great game to play with dogs who have exuberant energy, get easily distracted while on walks, or need to learn better control. This game can be played with dogs who have learned to perform the “down” reliably and quickly. Eventually, the goal is to be able to control your dog with a down command from a distance or while he is playing or running. To start learning the running down have your dog on a leash walking with you and without warning give her the down command. At first, she may be confused if she’s never had this command given in this way, and you may need to do a tiny leash tug or give a hand signal.
Eventually, she will get faster and begin to pay more attention as she’s starting to expect the unexpected. As she gets faster at obeying, transitions into walking faster, jogging, and running. Once she’s performing reliably at home you can start practicing this command in more distracting areas such as the park while still on a leash. Eventually, you can start practicing this command with her farther away on the long line but only when you know she’s reliably obeying and you will be able to reinforce the command.
#1 Household Chores
Beyond teaching your dog to put his own toys away there are other household chores he can learn. Working dogs and intelligent breeds thrive on having a job to perform, especially one that requires mental concentration and problem-solving. For the modern house pet, the best way to provide this stimulation is by teaching them to work around the house. Far from being cruel, allowing your dog to solve problems or work out solutions to difficult jobs is a thrill to most working breeds. While learning these behaviors can take longer than simple commands, it can be done by starting with the last step and adding the previous steps one by one until the entire behavior has been learned. This is done in the same way as teaching them to put away their toys.
Dogs can learn to perform simple tasks like taking laundry out of the dryer and putting it into a laundry basket, throwing away trash, or shutting a door for you. Once your dog has shown his skill in these simpler tasks consider adding more complicated ones. Many dogs have learned to open refrigerator doors and fetch a beer for their relaxed owner or bring them their slippers after a day at work. Other ideas include fetching something that you need such as the remote control and of course the traditional newspaper from the front step.
Dog training toys and Training game toys for dogs are in fact essential tools which if used properly and intelligently by the dog owner or trainers can help a dog to be proactive and enjoyable which can show its abilities in the most practicable way. Your dog is busy and you are all smiles!