Just like children, puppies enjoy learning by playing games. Dog day cares, puppy schools and obedience classes provide your puppy with the skills necessary for socializing, good behavior and trust. Different games exercise different parts of your puppy both physically and mentally.
Introductory Puppy Games
Puppies who've never been to obedience or training classes before will first be exposed to simple games and activities that get them used to being around new people, places and puppies. Such activities include learning proper daycare etiquette, bathroom usage and controlling away-from-home anxiety issues. Puppies may be introduced to new toys, basic training commands and socializing without a leash. Typically a dog will go through this orientation with a handler and without other dogs.
Puppy limbo is a game that requires the participation of all puppies attending the puppy group training class. Just like in human limbo, the goal is to get the puppies to follow basic commands and crawl under a limbo stick that slowly makes its way closer to the floor. When the puppies line up, they are instructed to "stay" while the limbo stick is adjusted. Then, the puppies are directed to "come," or crawl, to the trainer on the other side of the limbo stick, who rewards them with lots of positive reinforcement. The winner of the game gets a treat. Here, the puppy players learn to be patient and wait for their turn, as well as to follow commands directed to them and not to other puppies.
Signing your puppy up for an agility course provides him with exercise, confidence, focus and motivation. Agility games often include obstacle courses, where puppies must run underneath, through and between objects, as well as be subjected to different noises and sights. These obstacle courses train your puppy to ignore distractions to complete the task at hand, as well as to build relationships with people. Simple commands are built upon in these games and new behaviors are introduced and reinforced.
Advanced Training Classes
Puppies with various training class experiences enjoy playing more advanced games where they are taught to do tricks. For example, your puppy may be taught how to give you a high-five or how to fetch their leash or favorite toy out of a basket of other puppies' toys. These skills can be built on and exercised by playing games like hide and seek with their toys or other items, and a variety of games with a handler or in group with other dogs.
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