Workout Wednesdays – The spirit of giving
It’s Christmas & it’s Wednesday! What a great day to work off all that Chrissy tucker by spending 10 minutes a day training a new behaviour.
In the true spirit of Christmas, today is all about Giving. Yes, that’s right – that elusive “Give”!
So handy when you want the ball back, or the toy, or your slipper…(that’s another story).
Give is a great way to interact with your dog while they are playing – ie: joining in the game. It is also a very important command in getting a dog to give something up which may be dangerous or poisonous to them.
A good way to start is by introducing the new behaviour during play. When puppy has a ball or a toy they are playing with, and you want them to give it up, either let them approach you or approach them with a treat, and offer the treat in exchange for the toy, As soon as the pup drops the toy, click/marker word (eg: yes!) and reward with the treat.
In the beginning, it’s a good idea not to pick up the toy. Let your puppy go back to playing the game, and when they drop the toy again, click, reward.
As usual, you build this up a few times until you see that your dog is making the connection between dropping the toy in order to get the treat, before you start picking up the toy to interact with the game.
This is when you will start to build in the command word “Give”.
You can practice this at meal times in the morning & evening, 5 minutes each time over the course of a week.
Slowly build up to either throwing the toy, and getting your pup to give when they return the toy to you. If your pup won’t give for treats, you can also try swapping the toy they have with another toy. Just so long as you keep your pup’s energy and excitement up about the game, and the rewards they are getting.
Finally, it’s a good idea to reinforce the behaviour in a variety of places, if you are able to. Practice in the house if your space allows it, in your garden, in your dog park, and so on. This helps to build in the behaviour with your pup, so that they can “give” to you no matter where they are.