We love incorporating training and playtime together, it's our favorite way to make dog training fun! Not only does this challenge your dog mentally, but also gives them physical activity! All of these fun exercises do require advanced levels of training, but once your dog is well trained, this video will give you some fun ideas you can incorporate during training times with your dog!
Make Dog Training Fun: Exercise 1
The first exercise we have in this video is utilizing the come command back and forth between two handers. The two handlers will each take turns calling the dog away from each other. You can gradually increase the distances and distractions in between. Without a solid foundation of the come command, this can be challenging! This exercise challenges a dog mentally by having to perform the command, and physically as they run back and forth as we increase distances. To increase the difficulty further, you can even incorporate other distractions, like throwing a toy as the dog in coming to you and making sure they stay on track!
Make Dog Training Fun: Exercise 2
The next exercise we have in this video is having dogs performing obedience commands while playing fetch! Your dog will require off leash obedience for this as well as the understanding of the game fetch! We work on sit, stay, down, and come in between throws to make sure our dog is listening to us! This also gives us a safety net in case the ball goes into the street. By practicing commands during fetch, we can safely mentally and physically exercise our dogs!
Are Tennis Balls safe to use for playing fetch with my dog?
Despite the storied history of dogs and tennis balls, they can actually cause unnecessary wear on dogs teeth. The green felt that is meant to hold up to the beating it gets on the tennis court is very course and wears on the enamel of dog's teeth! Over time this can even wear the dogs teeth into the shape of the a tennis ball held in their mouth. For this reason Suburban K9 recommends the ChuckIt! Ultra Balls.
These balls have a rubber coating that is gentle on dogs teeth and also makes cleaning much easier! The durability far surpasses that of tennis balls due to the dogs chewing as well as if they're left out in the elements, however powerful chewers will be able to destroy them still. Another great feature of these balls is that they float. These ChuckIt! Ultra Balls along with the ChuckIt! Launcher have been the unofficial sponsor of my family's yearly trip to the lake house with our Golden Retriever, she will jump off the dock all day and night to fetch these balls!
Make Dog Training Fun: Exercise 3
The third exercise we show in this video is down stays around distractions. This is amazing if you have children or if your dog is often around kids or other excitable situations! Once they have mastered the down stay, we slowly work on advancing how well they can listen to it! It is a lot of fun to be silly around your dog while practicing their stay command! A down stay is also a great command to utilize inside the house allowing busy parents to train and multitask with everyday activities around the house!
Reasons why we love training dogs to hold down stays:
- Safety: A down stay command can be useful in situations where you need to keep your dog in one place, such as when visitors come to your home or when you need to keep your dog from running into traffic. This command can help keep your dog and others safe.
- Better behavior: Consistently practicing the down stay command can help improve your dog's overall behavior and obedience. It can also help prevent destructive behavior, as your dog learns to remain calm and in one place.
- Mental stimulation: Holding a down and stay command requires concentration and mental discipline from your dog, providing them with a mental workout that can tire them out and help prevent boredom.
- Bonding: Training your dog to hold a down and stay command can help strengthen the bond between you and your pet. When your dog learns to trust and obey you, they will feel more secure and happy in your presence.
- Versatility: A down stay command can be used in a variety of settings, such as at home, at the park, or even when traveling. Once your dog has mastered this command, you can use it to help them remain calm and focused in any situation.
We also love to utilize obedience commands while we work out! Life is busy, especially when you have to find time to train your dog, exercise your dog and exercise yourself! Once they have mastered their commands, you can start utilizing their commands during your exercise sessions! You can practice this by putting them into a stay command while you do burpees, jumping jacks, etc! Your dog will get a mental workout and a training session while you get some exercise!
Don't just take it from us, the AKC recommends exercising with your dog too! Look into joining their AKC FIT DOG program for a little added motivation and the possibility to join others enjoying time outside with their pups.
- The AKC Fit Dog Program is a free program launched by the American Kennel Club (AKC) to promote physical fitness and healthy lifestyles for dogs and their owners.
- The program encourages dog owners to commit to at least 30 minutes of physical activity with their dogs every day.
- The AKC Fit Dog Program provides resources, including a downloadable app, to help dog owners track their dog's activity level and set exercise goals.
- The program includes different levels of activity for dogs based on their age, breed, and overall health.
- Dog owners can earn AKC Fit Dog Certificates and AKC titles for their dogs by reaching certain activity milestones and completing various fitness challenges.
- The AKC Fit Dog Program also offers tips and resources for dog owners to maintain a healthy diet and manage their dog's weight.
- The program encourages dog owners to consult with their veterinarian to ensure their dog is healthy and fit enough for physical activity.
- By participating in the AKC Fit Dog Program, dog owners can bond with their dogs through physical activity while promoting overall health and well-being.
Make Dog Training Fun: Exercise 4
The last exercise we cover in this video is running with your dog! Running should not completely replace a calm heel walk, and you need to be cautious of your dog’s breed, age, and normal physical activity level before you start running a ton! A lot of large breeds are prone to hip dysplasia, so please be mindful of that.
List of things to consider and prepare for running with your dog:
- Is your dog too young or too old?
- Is the weather too hot or too cold?
- Does your dog have enough stamina?
- Does your dog know the heel command?
- Do I have the proper gear?
The best thing about running with your dog is the combination of exercising both you and your dog at the same time! Life is busy, so the more often you can double up on things you need to get done, the more time you have for everything else. If you would like more information of running with your dog, check out our article where we go more in depth on the subject!
Having fun with your dog doing agility training
While not covered in the video, agility training is a way thousands of dogs and their humans have been having fun training together for years! Dog owners who engage in agility training with their furry companions often find it to be a fun and rewarding experience. Agility training involves teaching a dog to navigate through various obstacles such as tunnels, weave poles, and jumps, using commands and cues from their handler.
This type of training requires a high level of communication and trust between the dog and their owner, as well as physical dexterity and quick reflexes. Dog owners who work on agility training with their dogs often enjoy the challenge of mastering new skills and overcoming obstacles together. Additionally, the bond between the dog and their owner can grow stronger as they work together towards a common goal. Overall, agility training can be a fun and fulfilling activity for both dogs and their owners, providing an opportunity for physical exercise and mental stimulation while strengthening the human-canine bond.
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