Fun Games… Serious Skills

Who says you can’t have fun while training your dog!   Here are 4 games that you can play with your dog and practice his obedience skills all at the same time!


2 people method:  Have one player, Jane, hold the dog while the other person, John, goes and hides.  The first few times, hide somewhere where part of you can still be seen from where the dog is.  John says “COME”, Jane releases the dog so he can go find John.  When dog finds John, jackpot him (give 2-3 treats one at a time).  As dog gets better at the game, start hiding in harder places.

1 person method:  Put dog in a SIT STAY position.  Person hides, then says COME.  The first few times, hide somewhere where the dog can easily find you.   Then make the hiding spots harder and harder as the dog gets better.   If the dog breaks his “sit stay” before you finish hiding, take him back to his spot and start all over.


Played with 1 person and one dog.  Use a special toy to play tug.  Offer your dog one end  and say TAKE IT.  Once the dog takes the toy in his mouth, tug it gently once or twice, then say GIVE (or DROP IT) as you offer the dog a treat.  When the dog releases the toy give him the treat.  Then offer the toy  and play again.  As the dog builds up his confidence, you can play longer and harder before asking the dog to release the toy.


Played with 1 person and one dog.  Have your dog SIT.  Gently toss a treat toward him and praise him when he catches it.  If he misses several times, hold the treat above his nose and drop it into his mouth.  Once he gets the idea, try tossing again.  When he is good at catching treats, then try tossing a ball or toy.

Tip:  Don’t allow dog to jump up to grab the treat.  If he does, then just say “Eh Eh” or “Nope” and hide the treat until he sits again.  This will also reinforce taking the treat nicely and calmly.


Played with 1 person and one dog.  Have your dog WAIT while you go hide a treat or toy in plain view.  Return to his side and say “FIND IT”, and motion towards the treat/toy.  Gradulaly hide the treats and toys in more challenging places.  Keep him busy when you leave the house by hiding treat and toys for him to find.

Now you can make training fun for both of you!  Enjoy!


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