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Training Games to Play With Your Dog

Playing games with your dog can be really fun for both of you, but there are other reasons to do it, too. First of all, you will strengthen the relationship or bond between you and your dog by spending time with him and playing games together. People who regularly play with their dog develop understanding, respect and communication with him. Dogs are social animals, and game playing is an important part of developing any social relationship. Also, you can actually teach your dog several important commands – and to obey you – by playing games that make following your instructions fun.

(By the way, playing with your dog will also keep him from getting bored and doing things you don’t want him to do – like chewing on your new pair of shoes or harassing the cat – and keep him active and healthy.)


Here are some games you can play with your dog that will teach him some basic training and obedience:


Hide and Seek

Give the “sit” command and get your dog to wait. Then go and hide in another room or behind a door or tree. Call your dog when you are ready. Act excited and give him a treat when he finds you. Start by hiding in an easy spot and move on to harder to find places. This will teach your dog to wait until he is called.


Hide and Seek

Fetch

While some dogs are natural fetchers (Labrador and golden retrievers, for example), other aren’t. The good news is any dog can be trained to fetch successfully. Start by throwing a toy, ball or stick a short distance away from your dog, and give the command to “fetch.” When he fetches it successfully, praise and reward him with a treat. Once your dog can fetch from short distances, start throwing the object further and further away. You can also practice the “drop it” command while you’re playing fetch. If your dog refuses to return or drop the ball when you give either the “fetch” or “drop it” command, stop playing the game.


Fetch

Drop It

Another way to train your dog to “drop” an object is to give him a large item to hold in his mouth, and then offer him a yummy treat in exchange for the object he’s holding. Wait patiently until your dog notices the treat and drops the object in exchange for it. Keep on practicing until your dog is dropping the object regularly, at which point you can give the “drop it” command before each treat.


Drop It

Clean Up Your Toys

For this game you’ll need a box and a bunch of your dog’s toys. Scatter the toys on the floor near the box. You’ll probably have to help him at first, but get your dog to pick up one toy at a time and give them to you (by holding out your hand). Each time he gives you a toy, reward him with a treat. Then show your dog how you put each item he gives you in the box. Have him do the same by showing him the box and pointing to it every time he picks up a toy in his mouth. Eventually, he will drop each toy into the box – remember to treat him every time he does this successfully. Pretty soon, your dog will be helping you clean up the whole house!


Clean Up Your Toys

Find it

This is the same concept as Hide and Seek, except you’ll be using a toy to hide instead of yourself. Get your dog's favorite toy or an object he really loves and let him watch you as you hide it behind a door or under a chair or towel. Then tell him to “find it.” When he does, reward him with a treat and give him lots of praise. Eventually, don’t let your dog see where you are hiding the toy (go into another room while he waits for you somewhere else). This is a great game to teach your dog to “stay” while you are out of his range of sight.


Find It

Simon Says

If you have the right attitude as a dog owner, then you can make obedience training into a game of Simon Says! Let your dog prove how clever he is by going through all of the basic commands: sit, stay, down, etc. Try giving the commands with your eyes closed, your back to your dog or in a strange position, like lying down or even standing on your head (if you can)!


Simon Says

Soccer

Start the game by gently kicking a soccer ball along the ground toward your dog, encouraging him to get the ball. Since the ball is too big for him to pick up with his teeth/in his mouth, it’ll take him a few minutes to figure out he has to push it along with his nose or bat it with his paws. Give him tons of praise as he starts to catch on. As your dog gets better as pushing the ball along, you can get more people to join in the game. If your dog is too small to handle a soccer ball, you can use a soft rubber ball that’s slightly too big for him to pick up in his mouth, instead.


Soccer

Related stories:

  • Teach Your Dog to Fetch
  • Teach Your Dog to Sit
  • All About Dogs
  • Working Dogs

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    Best Place To Take Your Dog?

    • The beach.
    • The park.
    • The mall.
    • No where - I hate dogs.

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    you can be fairly certain of your orientation at about any age around thirteen, or younger, too, maybe, but i do think that you'd need a more extensive understanding of sexuality before you're actually sure? your own sexuality and of sexuality in general. i mean, there is this misconception about sga orientations being s*x-central, which isn't true, since a young kid can have crushes on the same gender without even knowing about s*x at all in the first place. still, this is the difference between having an idea of your orientation and being certain of it (even if you may not be certain for many years after adolescence, too. it's not obligatory to figure it out before 20 or something). and it's really never too young for anybody to realize and acknowledge their attraction towards the same gender, it's just a matter of, will that attraction last for long enough after that for you to come out as the respective orientation? it's not just that you, as a girl, may be attracted to girls and boys now and later may just be attracted to boys--it could go totally the other way and find that you actually are only attracted to girls, but that only depends on your specific case and i don't know the details. it's fine to experiment with these labels i guess, but it's fair to say that many people will stop taking you seriously once you come out twice, thrice or more times as different things, because you hadn't thought it through properly. not to say that a single move like this that you do at thirteen will prove to be fatal or anything, though, if you live in a community that wouldn't put you at actual danger upon coming out, that is. you don't have to even choose a label if in the end you're not really sure, there shouldn't be pressure to do so. just go with something general and you'll get the point across. also keep in mind that 'coming out' isn't just a one time thing, and it's actually a continuous thing. sexuality won't come up in every discussion and you won't just go around yelling 'i'm gay!' around the whole city or something, you'll need to tell a lot of new people about it if you choose to and it will keep coming up. you can be out at school, but not at home. you can be out with friends, but not with the whole class. etc.  coming out isn't even such an important aspect in the first place if you ask me and it's a bonus pressure if you will. coming out will eventually come naturally when you get a same-gender partner and all, anyway, if you don't want to hide it forever or anything. good luck with that choice (in case i'm not too late with this reply, in which case good luck to whoever might be reading this for their own issue).
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