For CGC Evaluator Shelly Olson of the Grand Forks Kennel Club (Nebraska) making training fun for both dogs and their owners is a goal of AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy classes.
To bring the fun to training, Olson has added games to AKC S.T.A. R. Puppy classes. Using the game called “Do You Mind,” owners draw cards and compete to see who can get their dog to perform the skills first (http://www.darfinc.com/products_mind.html).
In “Do you Mind,” an example of a skill that goes beyond the standard sit, stay and come in dog training classes is to have the owner lay on the floor, call the dog and have the dog rest his head on the owner’s body.
Another game that Olson has used in AKC S.T.A.R. classes from “Do You Mind” is having the dog strike and hold a pose for 5 seconds. In addition to being a good training game, this will prepare your dog for posing for photos. The human students receive prizes such as dog food samples for demonstrating the skills.
The Grand Forks Kennel Club is made up of members who volunteer their time and experience to teach others how to train their dogs using methods based on positive reinforcement and motivation.
It’s clear from Shelly Olson’s class, the positive reinforcement is for both dogs and their owners!
For more information on the Grand Forks Kennel Club, see: http://www.grandforkskennelclub.org
To find an AKC club near you, see: http://www.akc.org/clubs/search/index.cfm
Note: Not attending a training class yet, but would like to have some games for you and your puppy? When you’re at home and want to work on your puppy’s brain power, try one of the interactive toys by Nina Ottoson (http://www.interactivedoggames.com) These puzzles teach your dog how to problem solve by moving pieces of a puzzle to find a treat.