When you think about playing games, you think about having fun. And when you have fun, you want to keep playing. I’d say that makes for a perfect set up to teach pets skills. If you think about your dog training in this way, you will naturally start focusing on putting the joy in learning.
The All Four’s Saying Hi Game
This game is about building amazing value to your dog for keeping all four feet on the floor. You begin with your dog on a leash and a bag of high value treats (preferably in your pocket or in a treat bag tied to your waist). As person two comes closer and your dog gets excited, you will click and treat. Person two will approach as long as your dog continues to keep all four paws on the floor and you will continue to reinforce your dog by clicking, then treating. The next step is for person two to get to your dog and bend down to greet him *if* your dog keeps all four paws on the ground. Your dog will get a double reinforcer by receiving click, then high value treats from you and calm pets from person two. If at any time your dog jumps, the game ends. PERIOD. Person two calmly walks away and person one stops being a treat dispenser. Wait a few seconds and then try again.
Some notes: A key to success – your need to start focusing on All 4s the moment someone starts approaching. Try to keep your dog’s leash loose and use high value treats to get your dog to keep his feet on the floor.