Free 10 Day Canine Enrichment Challenge: Day 3 “Push It”

Push It Game

The Aim of the Game "Push It" is to take one simple idea and create 20 more possibilities. This Canine Enrichment game will spark your dog’s natural curiosity and build their confidence that they can find their own reinforcement. This skill of learning to push objects can lead to many more complex enrichment games.

Requirements

  • Indoor space

Equipment

  • Food or treats
  • A variety of balls
  • Any objects that roll or can tip over

Step by Step

1. Start in an area with no distractions and have your objects ready. You can put them behind you if the dog will not be distracted by them. You could also have them up high on a counter next to you. You want to have the objects ready to switch out quickly to keep the game going. Show the dog a treat and put it under a small ball. Encourage the dog to get the treat. Repeat a few times to build their confidence.

2. Switch out your object to something bigger that might be harder to push. We used a partially deflated soccer ball and a ball that didn’t roll easily. An empty water jug layed on its side would work too. Repeat by putting the treats under the objects and letting the dog push the object or paw the object to get the treat. If the dog gives up, you can quickly show them treat under the object and then have them try again.

3. The Genius level is where you start putting the treat under an object that the dog can knock over. Make sure the object won’t hurt the dog when it falls or make a loud noise that would scare the dog. We used a foam roller. You could use the empty water jug again but set upright.

Tip

While playing this game, you can add the cue “push”. This will set you up for more advanced games in the future.

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