Week 5 - Building a Boomerang Dog
Welcome to Week 5! These last 2 weeks are a going to focus of building really enthusiastic attention and the stamina to keep it going for more than a few seconds. Last week, we increased the duration of attention and gave our dogs a windfall for it. It’s all about application now!
We have to increase duration slowly. If we go too fast, it will frustrate your dog. Systematic increases with periodic easy exercises, like going back to weeks 1-3 and including a few of those exercises once in a while, will make increasing duration much easier.
But most of all, keep them guessing. All these games can be worked at random times. The more you surprise them with one of these training games, the more they will focus on you in anticipation. That anticipation becomes emotional muscle memory and hard to forget.
Toss Your Cookies - Teaching anticipatory recalls
Evolving out of the human pinata game from last week, we are going to start building a very powerful recall. They already have the anticipatory muscle memory from playing the last game, so this evolve quickly. Application is power!
Throw a treat like you did for the Human Pinata game, but as soon as they eat it, call your dog to you. When they get there, give them 3-5 tasty treats. After a day or two of this, start moving to new locations.
Lotus Ball Fetch - Adding in Toys
We have used food exclusively to build engagement, motivation and attention, now we will add in a toy. For this video I am using a lotus ball. You can use a treat pouch, hollow try, or anything else you can place treats in. The goal here is to throw the toy and then you open it for the reward. This is an evolution on “Tell Me What You Want” from Week 2. Some dogs will pick it up and bring it to you. Some won’t. In those cases, go with them and open it after they interact with it. Here are videos of both versions.
Pick Up Fetch
No Pick Up
Do a few Lotus ball type games. You don’t need to use the exact toy. You can make your own with a water bottle, treat pouch, etc.
Do at least 5 Toss Your Cookies games. This is where the magic happens!