Are you fun? Your dog is. No matter how old, no matter the temperament, your dog is looking for FUN! Want to be the center of your dog’s universe? Bring on the FUN!
Having trouble getting the behavior you want? You guessed it: try making the process fun again. For instance, “Down” is Dull: you’re asking your dog to do nothing but lie flat. If you work it too often, do too many repetitions, and even ask for “Stay,” you could very well bore your dog into noncompliance. “Really? What else you got?” he says. How about giving a jackpot of treats for that Down? Moving around the dog while he’s in the Down so he has something to watch instead of you standing there doing nothing? How about running around and playing and getting your dog excited and then asking for the Down? Make it quick and get him revved up again and then ask for another. Then you lie beside him and blow his MIND! Then go play ball!
Oh, yeah! The ball. Magic. Or whatever toy is exciting. Want your dog to Come? Throw her Frisbee and say, “Come,” when she is on her way back. Then get super excited when she does. Lots of dogs don’t want to Come because their person is Not Interesting and Come then means sit and . . . yawn. “Come” then run and have your dog chase you! “Come” and run and hide. Hide-and-seek is so fun (don’t make it too hard at first)!
Housebreaking issues? When your dog has finished peeing in the appropriate spot and walked away, jump up and down and throw a party! Loose leash walking? If your neighbors don’t think you’re crazy, you’re not doing something right. Talk to your dog on the walk, praise when he’s next to you, surprise him and turn and go the other way then reverse it again. Keep him on his little toes!
Games! Why be serious when you can make your dog’s life full of GAMES! Hide her kibble around the living room. Put her dinner in a puzzle toy. Play Monkey in the Middle with her recalls. The possibilities are endless–and YouTube and other sites have so many creative ideas.
Tricks! When did you last teach your girl a new trick? Friends! When did your dog last make a new doggie friend? Fun! Adventures! Go somewhere new for fun smells and sights.
It’s a new decade! Let’s all get out of our doggie ruts. The fun ideas are infinite!