Day 5: Never Shock a Puppy
In week 5 of the 2010 Never Shock a Puppy dog blog campaign, we offer a few ideas on how to get your dog to COME when you call. The main post started to get REALLY long, so I’m continuing one idea here. And, it is this: Playing FETCH is a great way to practice recalls every single day. We even made a little how-to video (see below).
Now, you need to know that Lilly is perhaps the ONLY border collie in the history of border collies who did NOT like fetch when she was a puppy. She would play a little bit, but then she would get this look on her face like, “WHY do you keep throwing that @#$@# thing?”
So, we had to teach her to love FETCH. It started by throwing a piece of food for her to chase and eat, then we’d call her to us and repeat. Eventually, we began using a toy and traded it for food when she returned. Now, Lilly is a fetching fool.
Play Is Training
Many of us tend to think of dog play as one thing and dog TRAINING as something else entirely, but they truly are one in the same.
Not only is fetch a great way to exercise your dog, but you can use it to practice (and reward through PLAY) three cues:
- Drop It
The Recall Cue
You will notice that I always use Lilly’s name before I say COME! A long time ago a trainer suggested this construct because:
1. Using a dog’s name to get her attention is a good idea (especially if you taught good name associations by playing The Name Game as suggested by fellow Never Shock a Puppy coalition member, Debbie Jacobs over at FearfulDog.com, in a video blog.)
2. It sets COME apart from other stationary cues like WAIT or STAY. The trainer’s theory was that when you wanted your dog to stay put, you purposefully did NOT use a name. Saying, “Lilly, STAY!” in other words could be confusing. So, stay is just STAY. Come is always, “Lilly, COME!”
If you cannot see the video embed below, try this link: How to Teach COME Through Fetch.
Enter to Win Great Prizes (tell your friends!)
Again this week, we’re doing random prize drawings for some awesome gift packages on the Never Shock a Puppy site. We’ll take entries (via comments posted on Never Shock a Puppy). I hope all of you will hop over there and comment for a chance to win. Seriously. Nice. Prizes.
Every little bit helps, even $1 or $5. So, if you believe that positive-reinforcement dog training should be the RULE, not the exception, we’d appreciate your vote of support via a donation.
The donation widget will be to your right in the sidebar during the campaign. Just click the donate button on this handy-dandy donation widget to get started! If for some reason you cannot see or use the donation widget, please visit the Never Shock a Puppy Donation Site instead.