Puppy games are a great way to entertain your puppy and yourself, while subliminally teaching lessons in the course of having fun. Start with a game plan and a pocketful of tasty dog treats. Keep your games short so you don’t push his attention span beyond normal puppy limits.
Catch me if you can helps teach the come command. With two people sitting on the floor about 10 or 15 feet apart, one person holds and pets the pup while the other calls him Snooper, Come! in a happy voice. Use the puppys name to reinforce his recognition. When the pup comes running, give him a giant bear hug and lick of smelly liver. Repeat back and forth several timesdont over do it.
You can add a ball or toy and toss it back and forth for the puppy to retrieve. Even though your Beagle is not a Labrador, he will enjoy a game of fetch. When he picks it up, praise and hug some more, give him a goodie to release the toy, then toss it back to person number two. Repeat as above.
Another way to teach the come is with good old hide and seek. Play this game outdoors in your fenced yard or another safe area. When the pup is distracted, hide behind a tree, bush or lawn chair. Peek out to see when he discovers you are gone and comes running back to find you. As soon as he gets close, come out, squat down with arms outstretched and call him Snooper, come! You are bonding with your Beagle, using his name and teaching him that he can depend on you to be there.
The missing-toy caper is another favorite, since Beagles love to solve problems. Start by placing one of his favorite toys in plain sight and ask your puppy Where’s your toy? and let him take it. Repeat several times. Then place your puppy safely outside the room and place the toy where only part of it shows. Bring him back and ask the same question. Praise highly when he finds it. Repeat several times. Finally, conceal the toy completely and let your puppy sniff it out with that flawless scenthound nose. Trust his nosehe will find his toy. Games are excellent teaching aids and can be fun for you and your lovable Beagle.
Next Step: Training Overview
Reprinted from Breeders Best: Beagle © 2005. Permission granted by Kennel Club Books, an imprint of BowTie Press.