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 Weimaraner puppy limits. Weims get bored with too much repetition.
Puppy catch-me is a game that helps to 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 your puppy comes running, lavish him with big hugs and give him a tasty treat. Repeat back and forth several times, but don’t overdo it. The heel and come commands should be given only on-leash until the dog understands the commands.
You can add a ball or toy and toss it back and forth for 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 above.
Hide-and-seek also teaches the pup to come. Play this game outdoors in your yard or other confined safe area. When pup is distracted, hide behind a tree. Peek out to see when he discovers you are gone and comes running back to find you (trust us, 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 aid and teaches puppy to depend on you.
Where’s your toy? is an ideal beginner retrieving game. Begin by placing one of his favorite toys in plain sight, ask your puppy “Where’s your toy?” and let him take it. 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 nose—he will find his toy.
Weim 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.
Next Step: Training Overview
Reprinted from Breeder’s Best: Weimaraner © 2004 Permission granted by Kennel Club Books, an imprint of BowTie Press.