June 25, 2005

Building Blocks for Performance

Building Blocks for Performance: Give Your Puppy a Head Start for Competition Written by Bobbie Anderson with Tracy Libby, sets out a number of games to play with your puppy to build:
  • Drive
  • Speed and enthusiasm
  • Attention and focus
  • Motivation
  • Handler relationship

One of the many suggestions I like is getting puppy to stay connected with you. For example, she suggests that if you are doing something together and puppy wanders off to check some fallen leaves then you should drop to the ground and roll around making happy noises. Don't allow puupy to get into the habit of ignoring you, and don't run after her, instead make her want to come back to you. If you are upbeat and switched on, puppy will be too - if you are as dull as a post ...

She recommends playing hide and seek as part of this process of getting puppy to stay connected. In our local park we have a playground designed as a ship, the sides are about a metre high, and it has portholes for access. I showed Dusty the portholes, and then without warning I'd step into the ship and sit in the bow, and she'd race down to find a porthole and rush up to leap onto me. I guess you had to be there, but she and I had a ball.

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