Play Part 2
6. Build desire
Desire is the key to it all, it doesn’t come over night, we grow it step by step, stage by stage, and we develop it and see it blossom and come to fruition as fun, trust, relationship and our time together develops. Desire is what makes them tick, this is what gets THEIR HEARTS BEATING, from a pine cone to their favourite tug-e-nuff toy our dogs chose their best reinforcers, those that their hearts desire and we grow together from there. Don’t be scared to think outside the box. Dogs aren’t always predictable or ‘normal,’ go wild!
7. Think transitions
When playing with your dog think about the transitions. These are KEY to great games, start when the dog is in a good mood for the game, keep the energy up and engaging and then stop before the moment is lost! Hide the toy down your pants or up your jumper – wherever you can lose it quickly. And then look at your dog like that was fun, where did it go, we LOVE to play! It’s super key that work and play roll seamlessly into one by the end of it all. It shouldn’t take long but it is worth paying attention to what’s happening – a video session is always worthwhile to see what’s really happening in your play!
8. Does your dog have a release?
We don’t teach a release until our play is crazy feral. If we can still get the toy back when our dogs re grip we don’t teach a release, we simply whisk it away, there is no point taking more control over the toy and what your dog does with it if you can still steal it back, we want them crazy for it before we put any control over it where possible.
When we do teach a release we make sure we keep value on the toy. Whilst we want our dogs to be polite and release its also really important for us that our dogs want their toys and understand they can have their toys and enjoy them without too much control early on in their world of games!
9. The re-gripper!
So here at absoluteDogs sloppy mouths lose dinner, what do we mean by this? Well if you have ever been nipped as your dog goes to re bite his toy you will know what we mean, basically if your dog chomps on his toy rather than has a good and full grip then you can work harder on this principle. Every time your dog goes to re grip give the toy a little pull away, don’t hang it back, no self respecting rabbit would go back to allow the dog to re bite him and you should treat your toy the same! So if your dog goes to rebite the toy then try to gently pull it away, very very quickly he will bite with better grip and you won’t see him regrip!
10. The energy of play!
When you play with your dog the energy is magic, it feels refreshing, exciting, sometimes even thrilling and you want to do it again and again! It’s addictive! If it’s not, then get the energy up! A few top tips to up the energy!
• Listen to some awesome music before and whilst playing
• Go for a short run beforehand
• Have a quick snack before playing
• Let your dog chase you around something, in our old house the sofa on carpet was perfect, as you could easily get away and play a good game of catch me if you can!
Keep the energy UP!
About the Author: Lauren Langman is responsible for the design and development of all Devon Dogs classes, events and workshops. She competes in Agility at Grade 7, the highest rank of competition in the British agility arena. She regularly competes and wins at top agility events in the UK including Crufts and Olympia, and has represented the UK at World Agility Championship level on many occasions.