Hiya Team Little Angels.
You may have noticed over the past few weeks that I’ve been running late everywhere I go, and my life has just been like a tornado of tasks. New training programs to design. Sourcing new venues. Trying to get the Everything Deaf Dog Vodcast re-recorded after my computer gave me the blue screen of death. New doggies and their Humums and Hudads to support. Husband, kids and grandkids I want to show love, plus my own furkids training. Can you relate? Sometimes it leaves us wondering if there’s time to even breathe, let alone train your pooch. I completely understand the struggle, and that’s why I’d like you to check out the game-changing (literally) approach to dog training.
Picture this: you, a cup of coffee in hand, and your pup, ready for a burst of fun that lasts less than the time it takes to microwave the leftovers. Yes, you read that right—less than 10 minutes a day! Say goodbye to the guilt of neglecting your dog’s training and hello to a tail-wagging good time.
Why Games-based Training
I get it, life’s a juggling act. Between work, social commitments, and that laundry pile that never seems to shrink, the thought of adding hours of dog training can be downright overwhelming. But fear not, because games-based training is here to save you time in your day.
Imagine turning your garden or courtyard into a canine carnival, where learning and laughter go paw in paw. Obstacle courses, cardboard boxes, scatter feeding, long lasting chews – the list of games is endless. No more dreary obedience sessions that feel like Groundhog Day (if you know, then you know). My approach is all about infusing joy into training, making it a win-win for you and your furry BFF. If you’re not having fun, then you’re not playing hard enough! Plus, you get to laugh with your dog every day. Great for your wellbeing!
Build a Bond That’s Stronger Than Your Morning Coffee
Sure, obedience is essential, but who says it can’t be fun? Games-based training isn’t about sit, stay, and rollover – it’s about building a relationship that’s as solid as a well-trained recall. Your dog becomes your partner in crime, your wingman in the adventure of life. Look out! I can see you getting up to no good and having a blast doing it.
Think about it: would you rather have a dog that robotically follows every cue you give them with no personality or zing for life, or a four-legged friend who looks forward to spending quality time with you because it’s an absolute blast? I vote for the latter, and I’m pretty sure your dog does too.
3 Minutes, 3 Times a Day – Yes, Really!
Let’s be honest, finding a spare hour for dog training in our busy schedules can sometimes be like discovering a unicorn in your backyard—a rare and magical occurrence. Don’t get me started on having to scoop unicorn poop. But with games-based training, you won’t need a time-turner like Hermione Granger. All it takes is a quick game of Step It Up, Spin To Win, or Catch to keep those doggy brains sharp and tails wagging. Play the games while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil or that microwave to go ‘ding’. You don’t need to schedule an hour a day, you just need 3 minutes. So, the next time you’re binge-watching your favourite show, grab some of your dog’s daily food allowance and turn it into an impromptu training session during the commercial break. Your dog will be learning, and you’ll be the MVP of multitasking. It’s a win-win!
What Games Could You Play In 3 Minutes?
Follow Me– Get yourself a ball launcher from the cheap shop and throw the ball away (poor quality balls are a choke hazard). Or you could use a wooden spoon or spatula from the kitchen. Smear some dog safe peanut butter or some natural yoghurt on the outside curve of the ball launcher or spoon. Holding it with the PB or yoghurt at your dog’s nose height, start walking with your dog and let them follow you around the room or your back garden while they lick the yummy treat. Your pooch will soon figure out that life is tastier if they follow you. This game is great for teaching a formal heel, loose leash walking, or for getting your dog to see value in staying close to you.
Obstacle Course – before you take out the recycling, use boxes, roll inserts and plastic bottles to make an obstacle course for your pooch. Lay it all out in a pile or in a line they can nose through (whichever is best for your space) and start placing/throwing food out for your dog to find. Call Fido out once or twice and reward with some high value food for coming back to you, and then send them back to the obstacle course. This game is great for Fido to use their olfactory skills, which we all know is great for enrichment, and will tire them out in a matter of minutes. Plus, it teaches them to disengage from the environment and recall back to you. Winning!
Leg Weaves – Get yourself a handful of food in both hands and lure your dog through your legs from front to back and around your knee. Reward with some food at the front of your knee as your dog bends their body around your leg and then use the other hand to lure your dog through your legs from front to back and around your other knee. Reward at the front of your knee and then go again to the other side. Keep going for a few minutes but don’t get tangled up in a leash or trip over your pooch.
Boundaries – While you’re sitting there binge watching your favourite show on your preferred streaming service why don’t you grab some of your dog’s food and play some boundary games. Put their boundary at your feet and start playing. Don’t forget to randomly release Fido off the boundary or they will get stuck. If they’re struggling, then do a reset by throwing some of the food away from you and then invite them back to play the game.
Because Life Is Too Short For Boring Training Drills
So there you have it. I’m hitting the reset button and I’m here to rescue your precious time and turn it into moments of joy with your pooch. Less than 10 minutes a day is all it takes to transform your dog from the out of control furchild to the goodest boi or gurlie and your co-pilot in the rollercoaster of life. 3 minutes, 3 times a day. That’s it!
Games-based training—it’s like a cheat code for building an awesome relationship with your dog. So, grab that tug toy or frisbee, toss some kibble, and let the games begin! Your pup will thank you with slobbery kisses and a wagging tail that says, “Thanks for making training with you the highlight of my day!”