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Dashee's Travels: Episode 8. The Power of Play! - and how we got stuck...

Dashee’s Travels

Episode 8. The Power of Play! - and how we got stuck...

I won't be explaining here though how to teach a pup to fetch or drop a toy... (we can do that on another occasion ;) ) but will try to highlight how fun and powerful playing can be!

As you all have experienced... there are always loads of things that we have to prepare our puppy for so our 'to-do' list can be never-ending... taking the puppy to places, building bond, learning about life, building focus and engagement ,building drive, understanding commands, putting all the important foundations in...

The great thing is we can all do that using... yes! Playing! And by playing I don't necessarily mean tugging crazily or fetching a ball. Playing is enjoying our time together (emphasis on together!) in a fairly active way - it can be with the use of a toy, food, space, body language or props!

I am frequently very spontaneous about me and my dogs playing and I like being creative about my training in general (and I like fooling around with my dogs!) so besides all the regular games that involve toys or food... I will use anything that I have available to create a game!

It can be me hiding behind the door, putting my hand under a duvet, having my pup chase me around a table in the garden, covering my dog with a blanket, running left and right together, jumping around... If some of those ways don't fit you or your dog, don't worry - make up your own and just purely enjoy your time together!

How to combine it with our 'to-do' list? Call you pup back to you and allow them to chase you around the table before they reach you. Ask your pup to sit and reward with running left and right together. Take your pup to a new place and play with a toy there, wait for eye contact and play again. Ask you pup for a hand target, mark it and throw a treat ahead. So many options! Have fun!

That was the last blog that was followed by a long, long break in writing... Dashee was half a year old then and I really wanted to write something about playing, and I did... but somehow, I was not happy where we were... something was not fully right... even though we practiced and tried... we did not progress as much as I was imagining to... Why? Wait for the next blog...

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