Combine Training with Play
Owning and caring for a dog takes a lot of time and commitment. Plus, for dogs who need a lot of exercise, you not only have to find time to run the dogs but you need to find time to train the dog as well. Who has that kind of time??? Remember that combining training and play can save time and create a more solid understanding of commands for your dog. For instance, let’s say you have one of those ball-crazy, “I’ll do anything for the ball” dogs. Although taking her to the park and chucking the ball 50 times will do wonders for her behavior around the house because she’s just plain tired, why not incorporate some training into that ball chucking? Kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Can she sit before you throw it? Can she lay down? If she knows these commands, then she can do them for the ball. She may not know she can at first because she doesn’t know how to think when the ball is present, but with patience and clarity on your part, she will learn how to think with the ball and she’ll even learn to think faster because the reward is not a pat or a treat, but it’s what she wants most at that moment…for you to pull your arm back and hurl that ball as far as possible. Another example is asking for a sit or a heel on the way into the dog park. It may take some repetitions but your dog will figure out that the reward does not come until the behavior you are asking for is accomplished. So, on those beautiful days in El Dorado Hills, take your dog to the park to the throw the ball or to the Folsom Dog Park and have her work for what they want most…entrance to the park!