Free 10 Day Canine Enrichment Challenge: Day 8 – “Watch and Go”

Watch and Go

The Aim of the Game “Watch and Go” is to get your dog some exercise, and throw in just a little bit of training. This Canine Enrichment game is very easy to play but it may take you a few tries to get into a rhythm with the dog.

You want to balance the fun of chasing the food with learning to give you eye contact. The best part of this game is it will teach your dog to stop to give you attention, even when they are fully active.

Requirements

  • This is best played off leash in a secured environment

Equipment

  • Food or treats that can be thrown and keep their shape (versus crumbling when they land). We used hot dogs in the video.

Step by Step

  1. First, get your dog motivated to play the Canine Enrichment game by having them chase food. This should be familiar to them from our Flick It Game. Throw a treat to the right. Throw a treat to the left. Now add the cue “Go” and continue tossing a treat to the right and to the left.
  2. You will start to notice that after your dog eats the treat, they will quickly glance at you to see if you are going to toss the next one.This is an important behavior to notice before you go to the next step.
  3. Now, you want to add a cue to that important glance behavior. Your timing is important here. Don’t worry if your timing is off at first. This is the rhythm I was talking about in the beginning. Try to add the cue “Watch” right as the dog is glancing at you in between throws.

The sequence may look like:

  1. Toss Treat to the left with the cue “Go”
  2. Toss Treat to the right with the cue “Go”
  3. Dog glances at you, add cue “Watch”, Toss the Treat to the left.
  4. Toss the Treat to the right.
  5. Toss the Treat to the left
  6. Dog glances at you, add cue “Watch”, toss the treat to the right.

The dog may not look at you in between each toss and that is fine. For now, only add the cue Watch if the dog actually looks at you. If not, just toss the treat with the cue “Go”.

Genius Level

  1. We now want the dog to look directly in our eyes. You may have to wait for the dog to actually look at you, versus the treats you are holding or some other part of your body.
  2. Once we change the criteria to wanting direct eye contact versus just a glance, the dog may not think the game is quite so fun.
  3. You will need to balance how many “Go”s you do versus how many “Watch”s you do. I was sticking to about a 3 to 1 ratio of "Go"s versus "Watch"s.

The session may look like:

  1. Toss Treat to the left with the cue “Go”
  2. Toss Treat to the right with the cue “Go”
  3. Dog glances at you, stand still and do nothing. Wait for direct eye contact, say Watch and toss the Treat to the left.
  4. Toss the Treat to the right.
  5. Toss the Treat to the left
  6. Dog glances at you, stand still and do nothing. Wait for direct eye contact, say Watch and toss the Treat to the right.

Tip

Make sure you keep this game fun. If your dog walks away and doesn’t want to play anymore, they may be confused on which behavior is earning them the reward. This is a great exercise to video and post in the Free Canine Enrichment Facebook Group so we can give you some feedback on progressing the game.

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