Sunday, 23 September 2007

Playing games with your dog

Playing games with your dog has many benefits, one of the main ones being the development of a strong bond between the two of you.

Because Penny is supposed to be resting her sore paw for a few days I’m looking for things to do that don’t involve her usual rushing around. Yesterday and today she rested completely, but from tomorrow I hope we can do some gentle activity. I had a look around on the Net for games to add to our current repertoire and came across ‘Games to play with your dog.’ No only is the article full of interesting activities but there are also links to a variety of other sites.

One that looks fascinating is 'Games Dogs Love'.
These sites have so much info and so many links to lead me into further exploration of fun games that maybe I won't have time to play with Penny. She might just have to entertain herself during her recuperation.

'Clan Duncan Shelties' has simple games that I haven't seen anywhere else. They sound like great fun and some are so gentle that even an old sick dog could be comforted by the familiarity of these bonding exercises.
I loved this anecdote on the Clan Duncan funnies page:
"Look!" is a great training aid--and also goes a long way toward helping you communicate with your puppy. Start by using objects that the puppy is going to be interested in anyway, like a Milk-Bone. Say, "Look!" before you show it to him. Then say "Look!" again, and show it to him for a couple of seconds before you let him have it. Point at it with your finger. Gradually move from giving him things to pointing out interesting things of all sorts. How many times have you said, "Look, Fellow!" when you want to show him something, only to have Fellow fix his eyes upon your pointing finger? It's a great comfort to have your Sheltie understand what you yourself are actually looking at. I really enjoy showing things like toads and caterpillars to my dogs, and having them understand what I want them to see. Years ago Duncan was with us at a marine research station in Mexico as we searched for brittle stars for a certain project. "Look!" we said, showing him a wet, wiggly brittle star. Duncan "got" it, and soon began searching on his own and barking whenever he found a brittle star. It was a way for him to understand what we were doing. My favorite "Look!" story is also about Duncan. Late one evening at the university, several graduate students were examining specimens under a microscope. One student suddenly shouted, "Look!" --and pushed back from the table so we could look through his scope. The first one to hop up there and have a look was--you guessed it--little Duncan.


jabari said...

woof! so many interesting sites! do you sleep at all, Parlance? my muvver is in trouble now since she taught me that "look" meant look at her. Now we need another word when she wants me to look at another object.

parlance said...

Jabari, it's lucky that Penny's word for making eye-contact is 'watch!' Anyway, she's a natural at 'look', so maybe she doesn't need any training on this one. She can look at her lead every time she walks past it, without even hearing the command 'look!'. She can look at her food dish, too.