Puppy ping-pong game
Here is another example of using a game to reinforce desired behaviors. In this case, we want to teach your dog that it is always good and fun to come when called. This game works best if you have a hallway in your home. Even a small one can work. If you do not have a hallway then go to an enclosed room and have everyone sit in a large circle.
HOW TO PLAY
- Draft a team of two or more human participants. This game works best with multiple humans.
- Each human player should be well armed with rewards for your dog, including favorite dog treats, toys and a clicker (if you use one).
- If you are playing in a hallway, situate one person at each end.
- Have each person take turns calling the dog to them. Start by calling the dog’s name in a happy, excited voice. “Sparky! Hurry, hurry, hurry! Let’s go!” When he comes running to you say, “Good dog! Good Come!”
- Give the dog a treat when he goes to a player on command.
After your dog is reliably returning to you, take him outside to an enclosed area and play the game with more distractions. The more you do this and the better the reward, the more likely your puppy will return to you no matter what the distraction.