While there is value in obedience drills, there is also the potential for fatigue and boredom. So look for ways to engage your dog’s brain and yours by finding ways to make training fun.
Try teaching some agility. Running around over the obstacles once the dog learns them is great fun – there’s nothing better than having fun with someone you love.
If your dog loves to play ball buy a tennis ball clip, put a ball in it, throw the ball for him as soon as his tummy touches the ground on a down. It will change the way he looks at down and at working altogether.
Throw a squeaker in your pocket and when he’s distracted; squeak it when he focuses on you and slip him a treat. Wow! Who is this interesting person I am working with?!
When teaching fetch, I don’t initially make the dog drop the ball into my hand every time. I may jostle it in their mouth or act as though they are winning tug of war. I want them to be happy to play with me, of course I’m usually teaching this to young puppies but many of these principles apply with adult dogs too.
If fetch or tug aren’t your dog’s thing, maybe chase is. When your dog performs a stay, release her and run with her
Teach a couple of tricks like find the treat, find the ball, or bang! you’re dead. Change things up. Try rally obedience. Use a wading pool and teach your water dog to find the toy or scent article you put in the pool.
If they love to play with the spray from the hose, use that to teach them to stop, and down and stay while you are running the water then release them to chase and bite the water. You can figure out some way to turn training into play. Try to add some play into your training sessions each time you work.
One of my favorite things that I got to do when I first started my business was handle and play with puppies. You can teach in short bursts while still having a great fun
Practice and discipline will help you build a strong bond. Sharing fun times together will too!