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Murphy loves to play but he gets so bored with fetch? Any game ideas we have 8 acres of land for him to play! We just need ideas!! Thank you!
 

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Peggy loves "Find it." Start by asking for a sit/stay and then hiding a desirable item in plain sight. Release and then say "Find it!" Have a party when he finds it! Progress to hiding it out of sight while he watches. And then going out of sight yourself to hide it.

Or try hiding a treat while he watches, but then ask for a trick before Murphy is released to go find it. Then hide one and ask for two tricks. Now hide two and ask for three tricks! This is a variation I learned from SpiritDog Online Dog Training |. She has a fantastic Facebook page where she posts training tips and games daily.

I like "Find It" because it can be as easy or as hard as you want, so you can adjust it depending on your dog's energy level and focus. It's really neat watching them improve, too.

Just be sure to build the difficulty slowly so Murphy is challenged but also gets a rush of happy hormones with each find. And don't worry about scaling it back to super easy some days if he's seeming a little scatterbrained.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Peggy loves "Find it." Start by asking for a sit/stay and then hiding a desirable item in plain sight. Release and then say "Find it!" Have a party when he finds it! Progress to hiding it out of sight while he watches. And then going out of sight yourself to hide it.

Or try hiding a treat while he watches, but then ask for a trick before Murphy is released to go find it. Then hide one and ask for two tricks. Now hide two and ask for three tricks! This is a variation I learned from SpiritDog Online Dog Training |. She has a fantastic Facebook page where she posts training tips and games daily.

I like "Find It" because it can be as easy or as hard as you want, so you can adjust it depending on your dog's energy level and focus. It's really neat watching them improve, too.

Just be sure to build the difficulty slowly so Murphy is challenged but also gets a rush of happy hormones with each find. And don't worry about scaling it back to super easy some days if he's seeming a little scatterbrained.
I am definitely going to try that with him. Would you consider training new commands good exercise for his brain lol he can sit lay down and shake but we have had so much trouble with STAY I definitely need to teach him that so he isn’t going crazy while I’m trying to hide the treat!! Any tips on that thank you again!❤
 

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I am definitely going to try that with him. Would you consider training new commands good exercise for his brain lol he can sit lay down and shake but we have had so much trouble with STAY I definitely need to teach him that so he isn’t going crazy while I’m trying to hide the treat!! Any tips on that thank you again!❤
Yes! It's some of the best exercise! I just recommend keeping it varied and repetitions to a minimum. Keep it fun! We'll cycle through a dozen or so commands, sprinkling reps in here and there.

We use the command "wait" rather than stay, and we taught it by slowwwwwly building duration and distance. So we'd say "Wait" then take a step back before returning and treating. Literally a single step. We were able to progress very quickly by never really giving her a chance to make a mistake: From one step to two steps to a few steps, always immediately treating. Then we'd step side to side. Treat. Maybe walk around her in a small circle. Treat. Do a dance. Treat.

We worked on establishing this solid foundation before adding much distance. By then she solidly understood what was expected of her.

Before learning this method from our trainer, I always paired stay with "Come!" but this approach has worked MUCH better.
 

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I am definitely going to try that with him. Would you consider training new commands good exercise for his brain lol he can sit lay down and shake but we have had so much trouble with STAY I definitely need to teach him that so he isn’t going crazy while I’m trying to hide the treat!! Any tips on that thank you again!❤
Absolutely yes! And if you are looking for exercise that will yield a good nap, brain games are the best! If you have someone to help play that makes hiding things much easier. You can also have it be hide and seek for people. When our dogs were youngsters we would take turns hiding in the yard.

And yes to the flirt pole too.
 

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I agree with Peggy's advice on teaching stay. The concept of stay is counter-intuitive to a young dog; mine have always wanted to follow me. I start, like Peggy, with just a few steps away and a few seconds duration before releasing the dog. I can usually build up some distance fairly easily, but they always want to break and follow me if I walk round a chair or go into another room. Therefore, I am very careful to get them used to me disappearing from view. At first I just step into the other room but stay within sight. Eventually I work up to longer durations and returning via a different door.

When I have access to the neighbors' kids I play a calling game with Galen. I give each kid a handful of treats and send them off in different directions. Then each kid takes turns calling Galen. He only gets a treat when he runs to the correct kid and sits down to wait. Adults can play this game too, obviously.

I think my next training game will be to teach Galen to sit when he hears a single whistle blast. This seems like a useful command if he's running off leash and about to get into a dangerous situation.
 

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Hide and go seek with people is one of Annie's favourite games.

Annie finds fetch much more interesting if I add some obedience to it. So sits, stays, downs, heels, transitions between them, etc, all with a reward of a ball throw. Honestly, most of her commands have been proofed and improved while playing fetch. A long series of heel work for treats is also tiring exercise for her.

If I had a large yard, I would be investing in some beginners agility equipment, making sure not to do any real jumping until 1.5 years old or so.
 

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When I have access to the neighbors' kids I play a calling game with Galen. I give each kid a handful of treats and send them off in different directions. Then each kid takes turns calling Galen. He only gets a treat when he runs to the correct kid and sits down to wait. Adults can play this game too, obviously.
This is such a good one. Great energy burner. My husband and I play it regularly with Peggy, both indoors (where we stand in different rooms) and outside.

I also do a solo version where I toss a treat for her, she returns to me and sits, I toss one in another direction, and so on. I mix up the rules sometimes, too, asking for a hand touch between each toss, or even a paw (which is adorable, because she tends to run the last few feet towards me on three legs, paw extended). I just always establish the rules at the start so I don't have to ask for the behaviour each time.

Any game that naturally reinforces recall is a favourite of mine.
 

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We do a similar one, where we toss a piece of kibble, run around a corner while he runs to get the kibble, and then call him back using "come". When he comes and sits in front of us he gets a better treat. It has greatly increased his recall and is one of his favorite games, though I think I should try to think of a way to make it trickier...
 
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