Play The Shell Game With Your Dog

By: Adam Katz

Want to know how to stimulate your dog's mind?

Play games with your dog.

I've written before about different games to play that will help keep your dog from getting bored and help to stimulate his mind. Here's another great game to play:

The Shell Game.

Here's what you'll need:

- Three small, identical buckets approximately one gallon size. Or, you can use empty coffee cans if you like.

- Kibble or doggie cookies.

- A leash and training collar.

- One hungry puppy.

Here's what you do:

Place your dog in a down-stay, in the kitchen.

- If you don't know how to teach your dog to lay down and STAY DOWN until you tell him to get up, take a look at this: http://www.dogproblems.com/downstay.htm

Next, walk into your living room and place the three buckets side-by-side, with the mouth on the ground (upside down). Leave about one foot of space between each bucket.

Put a doggie-cookie under one of the buckets.

Now, return to your dog, give him your "release" command, and walk him over to the buckets.

Say, "Where's the cookie?"

Encourage your dog to smell the buckets. When he gets excited about the bucket with the cookie under it, praise him lavishly. Then, kick the bucket over and let him get the cookie.

Repeat this process by switching the bucket the cookie is hidden under.

Once your dog starts to get the hang of the game, you can add more complexity by spacing the buckets further apart. You may also add more buckets.

I like to teach a dog to give an active indication when he finds the bucket with the cookie... such as scratching the side of the bucket, or barking. You can also teach your dog to "Sit" next to the bucket with the cookie.

Initially you'll find that your dog will likely go back to the previous bucket that hid the cookie. Don't lift the bucket up until he finds the one that actually contains the cookie.

That's all for now, folks!
Adam

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