Have you ever gotten bored working on "Sit, Down and Stay?" Sometimes it helps to have some suggestions for ways to make training a bit more interesting. Here are some simple ways to keep it fun for you and your dog.
- Reserve top tier chew toys, bones or treats for a point in the training session when your dog improves his performance. For instance, when he holds a Stay for a longer time than the last session, give him his chew toy as a reward.
- Hide Kongs or other stuffable toys around the house filled with your dog's dinner. Work on a training session and then allow him to search for his dinner after he does something outstanding.
- Work on improving criteria. For instance, the criteria for Come When Called include speed of the behavior, avoiding distractions, the position of your dog after he comes to you, etc.
- Work on basic training exercises on walks. Many people don't work on periodic sits, downs and stays on walks. This will improve reliability by providing your dog practice training in a variety of locations.
- Work with a friend on two-dog training goals such as working on attention around distractions, coming when called running next to each other, and come up with creative two-dog tricks.
- Practice a 5-minute training session without using any verbal cues, and just use hand signals.
- Move away from treats and use more verbal encouragement.
- Use toys as rewards. If your dog likes to play tug or fetch, do quick training sessions and reward with a quick game of tug or fetch.
Hopefully these ideas spark some other ideas for training. Often simple changes can keep things interesting.