Training Tip Tuesday – Brain Games


By: Kelly Erick

The Volunteer Trainers at Ruff Start Rescue have started a new initiative to post a quick and easy tip every Tuesday! Look for a new tip every Tuesday or use the hashtag #TrainingTipTuesday on social media to find them all!
Happy #TrainingTipTuesday! A few weeks ago I shared the importance of mental stimulation! This week, Brain Games you can play with your dog to not only provide enrichment for your pup but these 2 games will provide bonding and something for you and your pup to do together! Have fun!
Hot or Cold:
Hide a treat, or a ball, somewhere around the room. For the first attempt, you can put it somewhere in plain sight, until your dog understands the rules.
Each time your dog moves in the right direction, say hot and give her a small treat. If she’s not going in the right direction, say cold and don’t hand out a treat.
Your dog will soon start to associate the word hot with moving closer toward whatever you’ve hidden, and you’ll be able to choose harder hiding places, such as behind the curtain or even under a box. This command can also be used during the treasure hunt game.
Cup Game
Get three identical cups from your kitchen, line them up in a row and hide a treat under one of them. Let your dog watch you put the treat underneath a cup so she can see there will be a reward to guessing correctly.
Then mix the cups up – the more challenging you want to make it, the more quickly you move the cups.
Let your dog select the right cup with her nose or paw and lift the cup up. If she is right, she wins the treat!
If she’s not right, mix the cups up and try again. To start with, place treats under all three cups before reducing this down to two and then one. For an extra challenge, don’t lift the cup up. Let your dog figure out how to knock it over to get the treat.
Blog and graphic by Kelly Erick, one of Ruff Start Rescue’s volunteer trainers, who focus on supporting our fosters and helping create successful dogs.