Follow It Game
The Aim of the Game "Follow It" is to spend time harnessing your dog’s natural skill to track. Tracking is great for all dogs as a form of Canine Enrichment, but especially dogs that can get easily distracted. This skill will help them learn to focus and pay attention to a task for a period of time. You can start teaching your dog to follow the trail with minimal investment and it’s easy to advance the game.
- Indoor and outdoor space
- Food or treats
- Long line
Step by Step
1. Start in an area with no distractions and have the dog in another area. Lay out a straight line of treats ending at a jackpot. The treats should be close together (a foot apart). Bring the dog into the area calmly by the leash or collar. Start them at the first treat and let them start eating the line of treats. Praise heavily when they get to the jackpot.
2. Repeat the straight line of treats but now find some household objects to put in the way for the dog to walk over. It can be books, boards like aerobic steppers, cardboard pieces, or pieces of pvc or broom sticks. Just ensure the objects aren’t sharp to step on. Be sure there is a jackpot at the end.
3. Take your tracking trail outside for a different challenge. You can make the trail longer and there may be some environmental distractions to conquer. This is when you will want to use your harness and long line. The leash should be kept loose at all times.
The Genius level is where you start putting in changing of direction like zig-zagging around plants. The jackpot can be more hidden. You can increase the distance between the treats until they are several feet apart.
Some dogs may be alarmed if you are following them too closely. They may think they are doing something wrong. For sensitive dogs, praise them and give them space to do their job.
This game is meant to be fun by all so if you dog doesn’t follow the line of treats exactly and wants to skip ahead to the jackpot, let them! They will go back and clean up the ones they missed.