We went to see international Dog Trainer Craig Ogilvie and here are the top 5 things we learnt!
Staying true to our mission to always improve and always keep learning, Dogs Go recently attended an Interactive Play workshop, taught by international Dog Trainer Craig Ogilvie. Here is what we learnt:
Most of us aren't playing with our dogs the right way. By teaching a dog how to play, and by us playing properly with our dogs, we will strengthen our bond ten fold and have a better behaved dog around distractions.
1. MOVE & GET LOUD!
How often do you run and move your legs when you play with your dogs? Get moving! Standing stationary when playing with your dog is boring and won't help you capitalise on any of your dogs natural instincts! Be loud, be exciting! Run!
2. HARNESS YOUR DOGS NATURAL PREY DRIVE!
Dogs are predators and have a natural prey drive to chase. Capitalise on this! Get your dog to chase you! Reward him when he comes to you! You are where all the fun is!
3. MAKE HIM FEEL BIG!
No game is any fun when you lose all the time - if playing tug with your dog, let him win sometimes! Let him pull you and the toy back to him - you don't always have to win! Make him feel like champion!
4. LITTLE AND OFTEN!
A short 60 seconds of fun is better than 10 minutes of boring!
5. DON’T BE AFRAID OF A TUG TOY!
When used in the right way, tug toys are great! They capitalise on that prey drive we mentioned - this creating a fun and an exciting game for your dog. But make sure the toy is appropriate for your dog - is it soft, hard, chewy? Can your dog get a good grip? Are parts of the toy less easy for your dog to hold?
Sarah’s thoughts -
Your relationship with your dog determines the quality of your life with your dog. Does he want to please you? Does he love you? Does he do things out of fear? Does he ignore you the first session he gets?
Play is a huge opportunity to bond with our dogs which we aren’t capitalising on. By working one to one with Craig, I was able to see what worked for one of my own dogs and we had fun in a way we have never had before. We adjusted such minor things to make the game ‘his’ and to work for both of us - it was magical.
When I got home, my dog was super attentive to me (more than usual) and I just felt closer to him. He seemed happier and more focussed on me, like he knew I was the keeper of the fun. (Obviously I am, I built a dog park for him, spoilt dog!)
I would really encourage anyone who has a dog to learn about this four legged friend- how does he want to play? How best can we communicate to him? It’s extremely rewarding and can only lead to positive things.
Sarah is a long time dog owner, lover and has completed many courses in dog training and dog behaviour. She has a special interest in canine nutrition.