Playtime for your dog
Playtime for your dog
Rules of the game and tips for beginners
There are a few things you should look out for so that you and your dog will be able to truly enjoy these joint activities. Take your time to read through the rules of the game: your canine partner will thank you for doing so by having even more fun!
Most of the exercises described in this book should, of course, be playable for all people and all dogs. However please use common sense and think of your dog's capabilities when choosing a game.
You don't need to make a big effort to have fun: Mücke shows us how dogs in their prime can stay mentally fit.
Your arthritis-ridden senior will thank you for not expecting him to jump over big obstacles. This wouldn't be good for your small puppy either. An especially nervous dog doesn't have to walk across the big, threatening, rustling plastic cover straight away, or jump over the neighbours' kid's arms and legs during "people-agility" and so on. You can decide best for yourself what is good for your dog.
Dogs that enjoy easy-to-do activities in the beginning set themselves up for success at games together at a later date. Always take care that you only use equipment for your games that can't hurt or injure your dog.
Tiffi loves small challenges because she always gets something delicious!
Reward the dog for playing with you? This might seem a little strange at first: aren't you satisfying him simply by being with him? You are certainly right! Most dogs enjoy sharing activities with their humans. Many games are like little exercises, though, that the dog has to learn first. Not every dog, for instance, is successful in walking through a tunnel set up of chairs and blankets or balancing over a wall at the first go. And why should he climb up a tree trunk? Or rush up to his family with his ears flying in the wind, when playing the come game?
Now it is your turn: you have to get across to your dog how much fun this can be and how successful he can become. You, too, learn best and faster, those things that you do voluntarily and willingly and that you are really interested in. And aren't you also much more motivated when something is really worthwhile? In this regard, our dogs aren't any different from us humans. And this is why we count on rewards during joint activities. You will see your dog play along enthusiastically and dare new challenges with pleasure. You can celebrate joint success and really have fun together!
Your dog will tell himself which reward is best for him. Most dogs don't really make an effort just for kind words, and rightly so. Stroking and touch are preferable for quality time on the sofa and usually don't go down well in training. Play or throwing a toy is more for toy junkies. But this often disturbs the activities. So food is usually the best choice. It is easy to handle and it motivates the dog.
Do you already see your dog as a four-legged sausage rolling through your apartment? Don't panic, just use a part of his normal daily ration when playing together and let him work for it a little bit. Most dogs enjoy earning their food that way!
Your basic equipment for nearly all games is food rewards. When you start a new game or work with your dog in unfamiliar situations or environments, use really attractive treats in the beginning. In everyday situations you can just use part of his normal dog food.
When you and your dog are out and about, a waist bag is ideal to store your treats.
The better you know what really makes your dog excited, the better you can reward him. Make up a list of things your dog likes best: put down his top five favourite treats. Think about things that he likes just as well as his food, for instance like running or searching or catching his ball.