How to keep training fun for you and your puppy!

by Katie Scott-Dyer // May 2018

What we have found after decades of experience between us, is that puppies love it when they have fun while learning. And so too do people! Here are a few ideas how you can liven it up and make it more interesting for everyone.

The fifty a day game

Count out 50 pieces of their kibble (dried food). These represent 50 opportunities to reward your puppy for good behaviour through the day! Put these pieces aside, then observe your pup and throughout the day, when you see puppy doing something you love, tell them “yes” then dash to your stash of puppy kibble, make a big deal of collecting a piece (think lots of ‘oooh what is this, is this for you and it’s going to be legendary!’) and then give it to them; they love a good show!

Be as theatrical as you like, they will think it’s the best game ever!

Count out 50 pieces of kibble again, maybe the next day and this time take them with you on a little walk. Now when you see them walk say 5 steps with a lovely loose lead, give them a kibble. Then maybe you’ll ask them to stand still at the kerb, and when they do you’ll say “yes” and give them a kibble! Maybe after a bit, you’ll stop and talk to a stranger and they settle patiently, you can give them a kibble or 5 while they wait. Then when you reach a safe area to practice a recall, you can use the kibbles as a reward but not directly into their mouth, see if they’ll catch it when tossed into the air at them, or throw it behind them so they run to go get it and you run away from them as they go eat, then you call them really excitedly and they run happily towards you and you can throw them a kibble party when they reach you!

Other ideas:

Take them different places, like dog-friendly beaches or woodlands and let them explore, practicing your recalls in return for a game of tuggy, a doggy ice cream or even a play with another puppy if they both want to. My own dogs have loved exploring new places and have become more confident, because of this they can go anywhere with me including holidays and shopping!

Maybe another day you can play hide and seek around the house or in the garden, always ensuring they are enjoying it too though and stop when they are seeking a rest from fun.

So you see it doesn’t have to be monotonous teaching your pup new things or doing their training with them, it can be fun and happy for everyone! If you’d like to learn how to teach your puppy all sorts of things and join in on the fun in our classes, then get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you! 

Why not share your photos of your fun training with us on our Instagram: bristol_dogschool and Twitter: @BristlDogSchool we would love to see them!

Want to come to our classes across Bristol venues? Book your puppy in by dropping us an email to bristoldogschool@dogstrust.org.uk