I am always thinking of new ways to incorporate fun training games into the average day, no matter how busy we are. A fun game I have come up with is what I call a “room relay.” I pick about three cues I use in one particular room. These really vary based on what your home routine is, on what you’d like to work on, and what you’d like to accomplish. To do the game, I ask Miles to do three chosen tasks a few times in a random order.
Our Example Tutorial
The below video shows us in my bedroom, where three common cues for Miles are “up you go” to hop onto my bed (not everyone’s cup of tea), “in you go” to go into his crate, and “go mat” to go to his bed and hold a relaxed down. ***please note that the below video is not the best example of us doing this game, because when I shot it Miles was really confused as to why I was staring at the video camera, and not at him!
In my experience there are multiple benefits of this game:
- Your dog will learn to wait for you to release him from a task, and best of all, will learn that doing so is fun and worth his focus, hard work, and attention.
- This game lets your dog know that daily cues are not always connected to predictable or boring routines. I want Miles to know that going into his crate doesn’t always mean that I will shut the door and then leave for a long meeting. Sometimes, it is a fun quick game, sometimes it means a chew toy, sometimes it means time for a nap.
- This game is really fun for your dog since it involves happy praise / fun / treats in quick succession. And it is great for the human member of the team, because it is really easy to fit into even the craziest day.
For me this game has been helpful for daily tasks, but also for more advanced agility training. Our “room relay” is a fun way of helping keep Miles in a mindset where listening to me is important, exciting, and rewarding. I hope you enjoy practicing this game with your canine companion!