Saturday, January 29, 2011
I have a lunging whip (for horses) that I use and it makes for a great game of tug and chase. I tie a soft fleecy toy on the end of it and snap that around. Really builds their prey drive and tug drive. Sunny goes wild over that thing! I let her carry it around and tug gently with her until she really latches on. With Sunny it doesn't take much - she reminds me of a shark tearing apart their kill! She will run around me in a circle - great thing is she can't run away with the toy. I think she is a "come by" dog as she seems to prefer circling that way. I play this for just a short time being careful to quit before she wants to. When I play this game with any dog I NEVER flip the toy up in the air. I always keep it low and on the ground. I don't like for my dogs to jump up high for stuff like that - too dangerous - I worry about injuries. Be especially careful with puppies doing this type of thing. A little goes a long way.
Another game is to get a big beach towel, blanket, or better yet a tarp and drag it on the ground. Today I started with a beach towel in the house and Sunny was riding it as I drug her around the house. Then outside I used a small tarp. She really went wild with that, tugging and jumping on the tarp. I drug the tarp around and she stood on the tarp all the while tugging - reminded me of a shark! The tarp makes noise too which is good.
In the house I am getting her to tug and play with me. Sunny has a lot of drive for such a young pup and she is already on toys. Sometimes she prefers my hands to the toy I am trying to get her on. But I just keep putting the toy in her mouth and directing the bite to the toy. I will probably end up wearing gloves soon! I don't want to discourage her from playing with me right now by saying ouch. I am not going to say anything if she bites me right now. First I will build her drive to play with me and tugging like a fiend - then later on I will work on the misdirected teeth! Of course with Sunny I don't think saying ouch would be an issue as she is pretty tough, but I still will build her desire to play with me first.
One thing I always want to do is cherish and nurture the drive in my dog.