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"Control the games, control the dog,"
says British behaviorist John Rogerson.



Games can be a fun way to teach manners and self control. 

Good Games & Bad Games

 Photo of "Fez" courtesy of LeeAnn Heringer 

Bad game: "Catch me if you can"
You stomp, he runs - or worse, dog grabs something and you try to catch him to get it back. [ Do you really want to teach him that he can out-run / out-smart / out-maneuver you. Makes him impossible to catch if he ever gets out! ]


Good game: "Hide and Seek"
You hide and the dog searches until he finds you. [ Teaches the dog to come when called and how to find you when he can't see you ] ... or hide a toy or a biscuit and encourage him to find it - an excellent "scenting" game!


Bad game: "Tug of War" for keeps.
The dog overpowers you, wrestling the toy from your hand, sometimes growling, and runs off with the toy.

[ Often turns into a "catch me if you can" game. ]

Good game: "Tug of War" on YOUR terms!
You present the toy and invite the dog to play. "Take it" "Pull!" "Drop it"
The game begins and ends when you say.  The dog learns to wait for permission and stop when asked.  

Teaches self- control, good manners, and builds cooperation and a good relationship. 

Bad game: "Throw the ball!"
Dog pushes the ball at you, staring intently: "throw the ball!"  then snatches it just as you reach for it.
When he does relinquish it, he dances around teasing you with it instead of delivering it to you.


Good game: "Fetch"
You bring out the ball and invite a controlled game of "fetch"   The game is part of a training session:.

"Sit" "wait" "get it" "bring it" "drop it" - The ball, and the game with you, is the reward. 

Bad game: Wrestling and play fighting.
Encourages rough play and pits the dog's strength against the owner. 
Dog sees hands, feet, clothing as toys.  Encourages jumping up, mouthing, biting, chasing.


Good game: Tricks!
Exercise your dog's mind! Teach your dog to sit up, roll over, shake hands, or even balance a biscuit on his nose!


Great game: Mind Games.
Build brain power! Teach your dog the names of his toys or names of family members.

Teach him to deliver notes or find your car keys.  Dogs love jobs!



This handout courtesy of © CAROL A. BYRNES "DIAMONDS IN THE RUFF"
Training for Dogs & Their People (509) 325-7833
ditr_training @ -

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