Saturday, 24 January 2009


Ice, mud, water puddles everywhere and sunshine... quite a mixed bag today. It was nice first thing, when it was icy, although that caused poor Pam to drive off the road, very scary! She's alright though and amazingly enough her car didn't get a scratch on it. How she managed to hold all her classes despite such a scary start to her day, I dont know...

In the afternoon we had a lovely walk around Offley with quite a large group of dogs and owners. Angela with Dennis Cocker came all the way from Cambridgeshire!

What else has happened today?

Started a new puppy class today, with 4 Labs, 1 Boxer and 1 Rottie. As always the first lesson was a bit manic, with some puppies being very boisterous and others being quite shy, so lots of running around trying to protect the nervous ones. By the end of the lesson it seemed even Briar, the tiniest puppy, was rearing to have some fun! It will be interesting to see how they are next week.

I'd like to ask you all for some help... we keep using the same games in the classes, to make the training a bit more fun, and now I'd really like to have some more games to choose between. The games we are currently using are all based on childrens games, so maybe there are some more childrens games that could be adapted to dog training? If you can think of any, please let me know. For every game that is usable in class, I'll give you a bag of sausages! We want games where we can work on sits, downs, walking on lead, recall and stay. Not necessarily all those in the same game though.

We currently play Shark (musical chairs), Red Light (Red light/Green Light), CopyCat (same for children), Spoon Race, Simon Says. If you can think of any other childrens games that could be adapted, please let me know.

Keeping my fingers tightly crossed that we won't get the rain tomorrow, that the weather people have threatened us with. We've got enough water as it is!


suzanne said...

Have u thought about musical statues with a sit stay - it could even be done on a lead

Anonymous said...

how about a gymkanna type game? can be as simple as walking to a cone, doing a sit, walking to another and doing a sit or down or watch? can be a nice starter for beginners or more complicated with longer sit stays downs etc?

Anonymous said...

Or how about a hide a seek type game for sit stays and then recall? One person could hold the dog whilst the owner hides and uses the command sit or stay or whatever. Then they could call on the dog to improve recall - they could even be done out on walks - thats what I do with Snoopy all the time and his recall is fantastic! Blog said...

I'm so glad to see a few comments on this particular blog. Thanks for that!

I wrote a very lenghty reply, but when I submitted it, there was an error and it was lost, so this time it will be a lot shorter!

1. if musical statues is the same game we played in Sweden as children, then I think it might be a bit too advanced for a beginners class. You have to have a pretty good stay for that. But it would probably be a fun game for Pam's intermediate and advanced classes! Could you give a short description of how the game works?

2. Gymkhana. We are already playing this type of game, but I call them 'cone games'. We usually do a walking on slack lead up to cone 1 where the dog has to sit, then walking on slack lead to cone 2 where the dog has to down, then walking on a slack lead to cone 3 where the dog has to do a little stay or a twist and then walking back off lead. In class yesterday we did a variety with a spoon race on lead back to the base from cone 3. It was very entertaining to watch!

3. Hide and Seek. Very good game, but again, not sure it is suitable for a beginners group (I should have made it clear this was for beginners). I don't want my clients to learn to call their dogs from a stay until they have a very solid stay. They should be able to leave their dog on one side of a field and walk to the oposite side and then back again without the dog moving. They should be able to throw a toy or walk out and drop a toy or treat on the ground and return to the dog, without them moving. This is not something I expect a whole group will achieve in a Basic course, but rather in an intermediate or advanced course (which I don't offer, but Pam at The Dog School does).

Great to have some help thinking up games though, so please keep it up!

PS. Suzanne, did you really say that Snoopy had a fantastic recall? Is this the same Snoopy that was disqualified from the Slowest Recall on the DogBasics day last year, because he wouldn't return to you at all? For those of you who weren't there, there is a great picture of Suzanne trying to catch Snoopy (who is having a whale of a time!) on

Anonymous said...

What about a game like 'Whats the time Mr. Wolf?' but with a difference. Someone stands with their back to everyone and shouts out a number (1-3) 1. could be sit, 2. could be lay and 3. could be stay. The person with their back to everyone shouts a number and waits 5 seconds until they turn around. The puppy/dog that isn't doing the correct thing is out. The last puppy there is the winner. You could also do it where the dogs and owners walk around off lead and a number is randomly called out.
Just an idea!!
Emma Blog said...

Now that is a game I like the sound off! It is like Red Light without the walking up to touch the shoulder. I think I will use that in my next class. Why is it called Whats the time Mr Wolf? Strange name...

Emma wins the bag of sausages!
Now I just need to know if it is Emma Andrews with Freddie Springer or Emma Andrews with Tricks GSD X! Who are you? :-D

I'll carry on this competition, so there will be more bags of sausages to be won for more games that we can use! Keep the suggestions coming!

Anonymous said...

Musical statues is just like musical chairs but you finish in a pose and the last one to move, wins!

Or how about Ring a Ring a Roses - you all walk around in a circle singing the song which ends "a tissue a tissue we all fall down" and the last one to fall is out. You could change "fall down" to a command, so the last one to do the command is out! Same end result as Whats the Time Mr Wolf, just a different way of getting there!

And yes, Snoopys recall is now excellant - I have learnt that, in typical beagle fashion, you have to keep his interest right up to the last minute or else he goes off sniffing and you've lost him for a good long while - we play hide and seek everytime we go out on a long walk! :)

Anonymous said...

YAY! It's Emma Andrews with Tricks GSD X. Tricks will be pleased.
To be honest I have no idea why it's called 'Whats the time Mr. Wolf?' Just what we used to play in lower school but instead of sitting ect. we would have to freeze and anyone that moved was out!
Oh good well i'll look forward to hearing how it went on Sunday.

Emma and Tricks