If you’re out of town (or overrun with guests!), we know it will be a challenge to get to class. So if that’s not possible, here’s a Thanksgiving Week(end) training sequence that a puppy or dog of any level can do. It’s a brain and body workout that, after 10-15 minutes, will give you a “brain and body tired” dog – which is the GOAL.
Warm Up His Brain and Body: “Get it – Get it – Get It – Here”
With your dog on leash, show him a treat and throw it across your body and say “Get It”. The minute your dog picks up the treat say his name and “Get It” again while you throw the treat across your body to the opposite side. Some dogs need you to outstretch your arm towards them (with the cookie in it!) and then throw the cookie when they focus on it. After a few throws, instead of “get it”, say “Here”. Make sure you add in a sit and a collar grab!
Brain Games: Impulse Control Games
Now that we have your dog all cranked up, it’s a great time to practice Impulse Control. We know that your dogs, when they’re chilled out, are very likely to demonstrate perfect impulse control. However, when they’re excited, all that IC falls apart UNLESS you practice it. So now’s the time to do a few reps of Blocking (while you’re standing use your foot to block / while you’re on the floor use your hand to cover the food), Patience Game, and Zen Treat.
Crazy Sits. Or Downs. Or Both: The Great On And Off Switch
Similar to the last game, this exercise also teaches your dog to go from super cranked to super controlled. Which sounds like……your dog when someone comes to the door! No matter what level of training you’re currently at, you can accomplish the sit and the down. Puppies and new-to-training dogs can use a food lure. More advanced dogs can do it with a verbal or just a hand signal (fancy!).
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at