Puppy Training Games

Want to build a stronger bond with your puppy,
pretty quickly? Watch this video for 2 fun games to play with
your puppy that will help you two build a stronger bond together! Michele here with How to Train a Dream dog, I’m the creator of 30 Days to Puppy Perfection,
our signature online puppy training program where you can train your puppy from the comfort
of home! For the best puppy training tips and tricks,
subscribe to my channel and be sure to hit the bell to stay notified when I post new
content each week If you’re wondering how to get your puppy
to tune in to you faster or come running when you call “come” then you need to work
on building a better bond with your puppy today! By the end of this video, you’ll have 2
simple games you can play with your puppy anywhere. I’ve shared these games with thousands of
my students and I want to share them with you too! The best way to get your puppy tuned in to
you faster is to start training them! Training doesn’t have to be boring. I love to make training “game-like” so
my puppies want to come back for more! Keep in mind your puppy doesn’t understand
commands when you first bring them home. So if you’re asking them to do something
and they aren’t responding, It isn’t that they are ignoring you, most
times it’s because they don’t fully understand what you’re saying. The games I’m sharing with you today start
to get your puppy to want to learn what those “words” are when you teach them, because they will be more eager to learn from
you when you’re having fun! Lets dive into Game #1: Button Pusher The goal of this game is to get our puppy
to touch our hands on command. This is a useful game to play when you need
to keep your dog’s attention… say at the Vet’s office Or when you need to get your dog in or on
something such as the scale and they are too focused on what’s going on beneath their
feet. This game helps them refocus on you and “pushing
the button” In this game, you’re going to pretend your
hands are the buttons on a vending machine. One Hand will be the button and the other
hand will be the dispenser. Grab your training treats and leash up your
dog. I have a link to my favorite training treats
in the description below. Start by rubbing a tiny bit of treat on the
button hand and then take the other hand and hide it behind your back, the dispenser hand only comes out when your
dog has “pushed the button” As soon as your dog sniffs your hand or bumps
your hand with their nose you’re going to click (if you’re using a
clicker) or use your verbal marker word such as “yes
or “good” The clicker is also in the description below and you can grab yours there. Remember click or mark the exact moment your
dog bumps your hand and immediately deliver one treat to your pup, make sure you deliver the treat close to the
button hand This helps your dog understand that bumping
the button is exactly what you wanted them to do! Don’t try to push your button hand at your
dog as this will likely get them to back away and not want to play the game again It’s important that you don’t say anything
while you’re waiting for your pup to figure this out. The only time you say anything is when your
pup bumps your hand! You’ll want to get your pup to the point
that they are rapid fire bumping your hand. Then you’ll know it’s time to switch hands. Once your dog fully understands what’s going
on, you’re going to start to put the command “touch” to this game. You should only say “touch” when your
dog actually touches your hand. Your dog does not know what “touch” means
just yet. You are in what we call the word association
phase of learning. This means pairing a word with a behavior. This is how our dog eventually learns that
when you say a word it means they should follow… we call that the command. You’ll be tempted to ask your dog to “touch”
right out of the gate… don’t do it. Wait until they understand that touching your
hand is the correct behavior before you start calling it something! Once your dog starts to understand that touch
means bump your hand… this can take anywhere from 30-100 repetitions,
then I want you to start to ask your pup for the “touch” command As soon as they bump your hand you’ll click
and use your marker word. Your dog now knows how to touch on command! Play this game in different rooms or locations
and at various times with different levels of distractions going on. Always start with low-level distractions and
gradually work up to higher level distractions. We want our dog more focused on us and the
Button Pushing game than anything else going on all around them! Next up is a super fun game that I want you
to take very slow. This game is introduced in phases and should
not be played all at once or all on the same day. Lets dive into Game #2: Target The goal of this game is to get your pup to
run and touch the target pad on cue this is actually one of the games we start with when
we introduced our dogs to the sport of agility… But today we are going to use it a little
differently! You can use the target to get your puppy more
focused on you at the vets office, or send them away from the door when company comes
over. Toss the target away and make them go to the
target instead of racing to the guests and jumping all over them! You could even use it to lure your dog back
to you if they got loose since they will know how to play this fun game! It’s also just a really fun game to play
with your dog anywhere since the target is easy to pack up and take with you where ever
you go. In this game you’re going to grab a target,
I use a white or yellow tub drain cover. I put the link to a good “target” in the
description below. You want to use something that can be easily
seen by your dog, can be tossed away from you without rolling away or getting blown
away if you’re playing outside. The drain covers make an excellent target! Ok, you’ve got your target and your training
treats right? Make sure to leash up your dog… We leash our dogs up because they may get
confused and walk away. We want to keep them engaged, and with a little
help, they will be able to figure this game out in record time! Phase one is all about teaching them to bump
the target that you’re holding in your hand. Make sure you hold the target so your dog
can’t actually touches your hand. If you’ve played the “Button Pusher”
game first, they will likely want to try to get to your
hand as that’s the last game they learned. You may need to tilt your hand or maneuver
it so they only bump the target. When they do, click and mark that with your
clicker and “yes” or “good” Remember your treat hand goes behind you until
it’s time to deliver the reward. Once they have a solid understanding of bumping
it in one hand, switch hands. Phase 2 is all about teaching them the word
“target” This means you’re going to only say the
word when they are actually touching the target. As their nose touches the target say “target” Do this several times until they understand
that touching the target is what you want. Phase 3 I want you to hold the target in several
positions and get your dog to follow the command “target” Remember when they touch the target…immediate
click and reward Phase 4 this will be played another day, maybe
tomorrow. It’s important to let the previous phases
or steps sink in before playing this next phase of the game. In phase 4, we want to teach them that the
target can also be touched when it’s on the floor, so you’re going to put the target on the
floor in front of you and point to the target while asking for the command Now this part is huge!! Do not feed them from your hand after they
have touched or bumped the target. Only feed them from on the target! The goal is to get them to go to the target
and stay at the target, not come running back to our hand. Eventually, we are going to toss the target
away from us, and they will have to go to it and touch it on command, not come running
back to you every time. DO NOT PUSH AHEAD – this is very common as
we get excited about the new skill our dog is learning… and we tend to push too fast In order for your dog to get to the point
of tossing it away from you, you’re going to slowly increase the distance between you
and the target gradually. So day 1 might be right in front of you and
day 2 might be a foot away, day 3 might be 2 feet away from you and so on. Remember, you’re still feeding from the
“target” not your hand. Now there are several other games we can play
once your dog knows “target” but we’ll save those for another video!! Remember go slow when introducing these games
to your dog. Don’t forget there is a difference between
the word association phase and the command phase. If you’re looking for additional training
tips and tricks for you and your puppy be sure to join my Facebook Group: Puppy Training
With Michele Lennon Make sure you subscribe to my channel too,
you don’t want to miss when more games or training videos come out! If you like this video, please let me know
by hitting the like button, and share it with another new puppy owner so they can learn
about puppy training games too! Oh I almost forgot… If you’re interested in learning more about
how you can train your puppy at home, and you want to know what 30 Days to Puppy
Perfection is all about… just click the link in the description.


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