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Hey y'all - I thought it might be good to have a place to post all the various training games. I know many training games have been posted in various threads but it would be neat to compile them. Stuff like 5 Cookie; It's Yer Choice, Look at that and so many more - I can't think of them all. I know for example, that a couple of recall games have been posted but when and in what thread I don't know. Anyhow I thought if we did this, it would benefit the forum, especially those with young dogs.
 

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One game we play regularly is taking turns politely - I don't know whether it is any of the named schemes, but it is a very useful life skill for households with more than one animal. Dogs (and cats) sit in a row, and each gets a treat when there nme is called. Attempts to barge or grab out of turn are discouraged, polite behaviour rewarded, with everyone getting exactly the same number of treats to keep it fair.
 

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Drop It/Fetch

We play fetch with two prized toys, the type Peggy might otherwise be reluctant to drop.

She holds toy 1 within a foot or two of me while I hold toy 2.

"Drop it."

She drops toy 1 and I immediately throw toy 2 for her to retrieve.

She returns and holds toy 2 within a foot or two of me while I hold toy 1.

"Drop it"

She drops toy 2 and I immediately throw toy 1 for her to retrieve...

Etc.

This works the "drop it" command and also reinforces a polite game of fetch.

Note: I continue pairing the command with her dropping the toy, even when she gets into a good groove and starts dropping it automatically.

Variation: If you're sick or just plain tired, a similar rhythm can be achieved while sitting face to face. I call this "juggling" and Peggy actually taught it to me. ? We basically just hand the toys back and forth, still using the "drop it" command.
 

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Here is a link to some of my past notes on these kinds of games.

 

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I don't think it has a name, but I'll get Sisko's training rope toy, and I ask Sisko to do something like sit or a down and for him to stay and toss his rope toy and then say ''release'' and tell him to ''retrieve it'' This is a Sisko approved game?
 

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I was having trouble calling Cleo in from the backyard while she's playing, so we started playing the "inside" game, and it seems to be working. I have her on leash outside, and I run to the door. She gleefully runs alongside. As we go in through the door, i say "inside" cheerfully and hand her a treat, then we immediately go back outside and do it again--5 times in a row fast. She certainly thinks it's a game! I did this every day for about two weeks, and it seems to be catching on. Today it even worked when i had her on long-line and she had to decide to come inside with me rather than return to the exciting game of running along the fence with two dogs who were on the other side of the fence. It worked! I started jogging for the door, and she followed, I said "inside," as we came in, and then I tossed some good treats on the floor (bonanza, because it was a hard decision she made), and she was happy.
Which led to our next "game"--where i hold out my hand and she gives me her paw and gets a small treat while i clean the mud off, one foot at a time. She used to hate this, and now she stands still for it. Giving paw was something i had not figured out how to teach her, but silly me, with treats of course she learned it in one lesson.

Next step will be doing the recall games off-lead, but i'm going to give that more time practicing on lead first. We also do "ping-pong" on longline outside, and she's doing great with that. Right now, we only practice off-lead in the house.
 

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Must Love Dogs - Thank you!! The "inside" game is exactly what we need right now!

Peggy's recently discovered a love of outdoor independent play. She'll hang out in the yard with her frisbee, alternately pouncing on it and watching the birds. It's a super nice break for me. I can do dishes or whatever while I keep an eye on her. But....I dread the song and dance of calling her back inside.

Usually I'll just forego the patio door entirely and call her to the gate instead, so she thinks she's going for a walk. But those sort of tricks tend to eventually backfire with her.
 

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Yes, i, too, have truly enjoyed her independent play time outside! The problem was the end part. She was completely ignoring me when it was time to come in. And she started doing stuff like digging, or removing the bird guard on our dryer vent outlet...(twice...)
The trainer i've worked with a few times told me that basically she's rehearsed this behavior with me so many times, ignoring me when i call her, that i will need to rehearse a positive recall interaction an exponential number of times in order to override it. So I haven't allowed her outside on her own for almost two weeks, while we practice her recall in general and make going back inside a fun, rewarding thing. This has been inconvenient, to say the least, but i think it's starting to work.
I hope the inside game works for you!
 

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If you're having trouble bringing your dog in, make sure you're not calling her in and then doing something she doesn't love...like clipping nails or some other thing. I'd practice first, by fixing her dinner and not calling her in but wait until she's coming on her own because she hears you fixing her dinner perhaps. Give her some really yummy treats, but not dinner just yet. Make a fuss, play with a toy, then let her back outside and play with her there or whatever she was doing before. Try not to have to call her in just yet and set up a situation where she'll come in on her own. Repeat. Then feed her dinner and have some more fun inside. Make coming inside better than it was outside. Then start re-introducing your verbal cue or choose a new one. Start pairing that cue with her actual coming in. I wouldn't risk using it to elicit the behavior until she is coming in reliably with some other "cue" like pouring kibble into a stainless steel bowl. lol. Or rummaging around in a treat bag, squeaking a toy...something to get her to come on her own. The cue to come has been ignored and some people will say "poisoned" and you must choose a new cue. I have found I don't need to use a new cue but I need to give that one "Let's go" or whatever you're using a break. And you need to instead, strengthen the behavior of coming in by some other means besides the cue you've used to elicit the behavior. Then re-introduce it later.

That's not exactly a "game" persay, but thought it might help for getting the dog to come in. Using the gate instead is like "lying" to her. Don't do that. She'll catch on soon and it won't work anyhow and you sort of risk losing her trust that what you say is really going to happen.

You can find all kinds of training games online. You've no doubt practiced leave it sitting on the floor with some kibble. Covering it until the dog looks at you, then click and treat...getting the treat from behind your back or even giving that piece you set down to the dog. Dog learns to leave it and he/she WILL get it. Then advance standing up, using your foot to cover. But you've got to be fast. Make it fun and cheery and then it's a game. lol.

There's Look at that. (lat) You can look that up. There's "it's yer choice." Those are fun focus games.

Retrieve is a game. There are all kinds of things to do with dogs. If you don't do agility, you can set up some make shift jumps, using whatever you find around the yard. I sit on the floor and stretch out my leg, raise it and show my toy poodles to jump over my leg. I've known people who get on their hands and knees, crouch down and teach their dogs to jump over them. lol. Or you could look up training dog tricks online and get some ideas for tricks. Dogs love to do that. Have fun.
 

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I have a loose leash walking game called Connect the Dots. It's too hard to describe how to play, so I made a chart. Every cell in the chart represents a sidewalk square. Don't stop at the empty squares, just keep walking together until you hit a treat square.
464125
 

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We've been playing "Find It" and it's done wonders for Peggy's stay!

I ask her to bring me a toy, "Drop it" in my hand, then "Wait." I then hide the toy in another room. Whether I go behind a closed door, down the hall, or around the corner, she WAITS. Doesn't budge. Doesn't even need me to repeat the command. Then I return to her, say "Find it!" and off she goes.

If she's stumped, I'll point her in the right direction, which is another command we've been working on. Then, if it's on the bed, for example, I can practise a point AND an "Up!" with distance.

This is a real winner for us. If you have any variations, please do share! She's not gotten bored yet (a miracle!) but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.
 

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We've been playing "Find It" and it's done wonders for Peggy's stay!

I ask her to bring me a toy, "Drop it" in my hand, then "Wait." I then hide the toy in another room. Whether I go behind a closed door, down the hall, or around the corner, she WAITS. Doesn't budge. Doesn't even need me to repeat the command. Then I return to her, say "Find it!" and off she goes.

If she's stumped, I'll point her in the right direction, which is another command we've been working on. Then, if it's on the bed, for example, I can practise a point AND an "Up!" with distance.

This is a real winner for us. If you have any variations, please do share! She's not gotten bored yet (a miracle!) but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.
Annie loves this game too. I mix it up by having me sometimes come back to the room where she is multiple times before release, and by me walking through all of the other rooms before going back to her so she has less clues. I also sometimes hide the toy under stuff/behind stuff - so under my duvet in the bed, under the bath mat, behind a curtain, on a shelf, etc. Future plans is to discriminate between toys "Find your ball" vs "find your plushie (plush ball)" but other toys don't have anywhere near the same interest as her squeaky Christmas Kong balls.
 

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Annie loves this game too. I mix it up by having me sometimes come back to the room where she is multiple times before release, and by me walking through all of the other rooms before going back to her so she has less clues. I also sometimes hide the toy under stuff/behind stuff - so under my duvet in the bed, under the bath mat, behind a curtain, on a shelf, etc. Future plans is to discriminate between toys "Find your ball" vs "find your plushie (plush ball)" but other toys don't have anywhere near the same interest as her squeaky Christmas Kong balls.
Ooh! Good ideas! Thank you! I might try hiding some smelly treats when I increase the difficulty, just to help her along.

Peggy shocked us one day by demonstrating she knew the names of various objects and then—just as quickly—stopped. I guess we'll have to formally teach that to her? Or maybe she still knows and just didn't feel sufficiently rewarded for her efforts?

One thing I struggle with in Peggy's training is that she quickly catches on to new concepts, but then abruptly seems to unlearn them. Just now, on a whim, I stuck out the handle of her flirt pole, about 8" off the ground, and said "OVER!"

Over she went!

She effortlessly repeated this a few times, even circling around once to take a magnificently unnecessary flying poodle leap. But I'm fairly confident if I try it again later, so my husband can see, Peggy will just look at me like I'm crazy.
 

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PtP - Hah - yes, Annie struggles to remember "Down!" recently, "Do you really mean it? Maybe you meant bow? What if I stretch my back legs? Hmm, still not enough? Then I'll SLOWLY lower my butt to the floor." She definitely has some step-backwards days.

I taught her to look for stuff that is hidden by showing her the first time, and by starting with things half hidden, so you can only see it from certain angles. But she was already randomly finding/sniffing out her ball when it got caught in the couch cushions, so it wasn't a huge leap.
 
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