Training and Care — Tip Of The Week
Excerpt from Our New
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
Do you hide Easter eggs around the house for your kids to find on Easter Sunday? This game is pretty much the same – you hide treats all over the house and let your dog sniff them out. It provides excellent mental stimulation. Just make sure you put treats in places you wouldn't want your dog to go digging when you aren't around.
There's a simple step-by-step process to make this game work:
1. Start off by getting your dog into the Sit-Stay position.
2. Put a treat down a couple of feet in front of her. Make her wait until you say your release word, then let her have it.
3. Keep doing this, putting the treat in different places around the room each time.
4. After you've done this a few times, start putting the treats out of sight so she has to find them – but for starters, let her see where you put it (in a closet, for example).
5. Finally, make her Stay and go completely out of her sight to hide the treat. Call her to you and let her hunt it out.
This game serves two important roles. Not only does it provide much-needed mental stimulation that helps prevent destructive chewing and other problem behaviors, but it also helps reinforce the Stay command in a safe environment. This helps give you confidence that your dog will Stay when you tell her to when you're out in public.
By the way, once you've played this game a few times, you can get rid of the treats altogether. You can turn it in to an old-fashioned hide and seek game where you hide and make her come find you.
Next time: Keepaway
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