This week I’ve not only been training Küster as usual, but we’ve added something else to our routine. I decided to take the 7 Day Challenge, Build a Better Relationship Through Play. It was a fun event set up by a dog trainer named Meagan Karnes. Meagan is also a fellow blogger.
Basically, what it comes down to is that a trainer and also fellow blogger decided to host this challenge via Facebook and email. Each day we received an email. The email included the lesson and activity for the day. The lesson had a theory behind the activity, a couple of strategies to try, and then the fun part of the assignment, to go and play with your dog. I would note that within each email was a link to a video which went over the same but included a few extra clips of her doing the activity.
Day one was the easiest. The only thing we needed to do was go and video ourselves playing tug with our dogs. This is one of Küster’s favorite things to do. Due to storms we set up in the basement and played there. I would add that I need to continue getting into better shape. He plays hard. After that, the people taking the challenge, if able, were to download the video on a private Facebook page and talk about how the session went. You just made quick notes on whatever you thought was relevant.
As the 7 day challenge continued, we broke down the elements of playing tug with our dogs. One day was on how to play with an extra motivated dog and how to play with a dog that may not care about a toy. Day 5 was on techniques to use when your dog doesn’t consistently bring the toy back.
Like I said, every day was another thing to try. I must say that both Küster and I totally enjoyed the challenge. For one, watching the videos of my boy and I playing was educational and at times funny. One of the issues I do have is that he likes to play tug but he also likes to play keep away once I let him win the tug. By day five Küster was starting to play keep away less and starting to bring the toy right into me. We made progress in our playing.
Due to other people posting videos in the group I was able to watch other breeds playing and see how the different breeds reacted to the games we were all playing. Plus, it was very interesting to see how people of different skill levels in dog training played. Much of playing tug with your dog is about timing. Timing is like dancing, some people have it. Some people don’t.
Overall the 7-day challenge was about one thing, having fun with your dog. And that is one thing that I definitely had, fun.