Puppies have lots to learn when they first come to live with you. Sometimes people dread training their puppies. They may feel like they’re not good at training or that training won’t be fun. That’s too bad because puppies are lots of fun. They do need to learn some important lessons though. Wouldn’t it be great if you could combine having fun with your puppy and teaching him at the same time? Well, you can if you play some fun training games with your puppy.
Actually, there are some wonderful puppy training games you can use to teach your puppies the things they need to know. Here are a couple of suggestions.
1. Many puppies don’t know their own names and it takes them a while to learn. You can play a fun game with your puppy to help him learn his name. Ask a friend to help you with this game. The two of you can sit on the floor or on the ground if you’re outdoors. You should both have some treats for your puppy. Make sure you’re sitting a few feet apart so you’re not too close together. You should begin by using your puppy’s name to call him to you. As soon as he comes to you, praise him and give him a treat. Then your friend should call him by his name. Have him/her wave the treat if necessary to get your puppy’s attention. They should praise your puppy and give him the treat when he comes to them. Then you call your puppy by name. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. And so on. It’s fine to spend time playing with your puppy as he goes to each of you. You want this to be a fun time for your puppy. Use his name frequently. If you play this game with your puppy a few times he should learn his name much more quickly than usual.
2. You can teach your puppy to come to you by playing a game of hide-and-seek with him. This game is best played when you’re outdoors in a safe and secure area, such as a fenced garden. Wait until your puppy is interested in something and not paying attention to you. Then hide behind a tree or bush. You don’t have to be thoroughly hidden, but you shouldn’t be immediately obvious to your puppy. Wait until your puppy notices that you’re gone. Most puppies will start looking for you at this point because you represent security for them. Once your puppy is looking for you, call using your puppy’s name and “Come!” Your puppy will be very motivated to come to you. You should praise him and give him a treat. Give him lots of petting for coming to you. He will probably stay closer to you after this, at least temporarily, but if you repeat this game a few times your puppy should become very good about coming when you call.
3. You can also teach your puppy to give you things when you ask for them. This is a good thing for puppies to learn so they won’t guard objects when they’re adult dogs. Give your puppy one of his toys to play with. Once he’s playing with it you can offer him a favorite treat. As he eats the treat you can take the toy. When he’s finished with the treat, give him a better toy. Let him play with it for a few minutes and offer him another treat. Make another swap and take the toy while he’s eating the treat. Then give him his favorite toy. Keep swapping treats for toys or toys for better toys. Make a game of it with lots of petting and praise. If you do this regularly you shouldn’t have any trouble when you want to take something from your puppy or when he’s an adult.
You can make up lots of training games with your puppy to teach him things. Keep things fun and the games short. Your puppy has a short attention span at this age but he does learn better when things are fun. It’s all right to repeat things but don’t let things get boring.