Puppy games are great ways 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. Labrador puppies love to have fun with their people. Games are excellent teaching aids and one of the best ways to say I love you to your puppy.
Find Your Toy: 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. Trust his nosehe will find his toy.
Puppy Retrieve: This game 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: Puppy, puppy, come! in a happy voice. When the pup comes running, lavish him with big hugs and give a tasty treat. Repeat back and forth several times, but don’t overdo it. You can add a ball or toy and toss it back and forth for the puppy to retrieve. 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 before.
Where’s Your Daddy?: This is another game that teaches the puppy to come. Play this game outdoors in your yard or other confined safe area. When the pup is distracted, hide behind a tree or bush. Shout out Where’s your dad? (or whichever name you like). Peek out to see when he discovers you are gone and comes running back to find you (trust me, he will do that). As soon as he gets close, come out, squat down with arms outstretched and call him: Puppy, come! This is also an excellent bonding technique and teaches the puppy to depend on you.
The 21st-century Labrador Retriever, living in our busy world where both parents might work and the children are at school all day, can get pretty bored sitting at home, waiting for the family to return. Such a schedule could keep a family or a single owner from acquiring a dog in the first place. Fortunately, our modern world offers some options for busy owners in the form of doggy daycare.
These facilities are popping up all over the country, and smart dog owners are taking advantage of them. Doggy daycare centers not only offer your dog exercise but also provide stimulation and socialization for the budding Labrador student.
Next step: Labrador Retriever Overview
Reprinted from Breeders Best: Labrador Retriever © 2004. Permission granted by Kennel Club Books, an imprint of BowTie Press.