Nose game fun!

15 Feb

Focus. It can be difficult to achieve with a dog, particularly in a distracting or unfamiliar environment. With Ilsa, fear issues are always a concern, so we’ve been building on our array of tools to keep her calm in any situation.

One of her favorite games to play is a nose game where I stick out my hand, and she noses it. Occasionally, she is rewarded with a treat as she might be for any trick. This has been a valuable game to teach her because she loves playing it so much. Just today, a scary situation for Ilsa arose when a girl passed us rollerblading while we were out on a walk. We don’t see someone rollerblading just every day. Instead of going into a frenzy, we used the nose game as a fun distraction. It works well for us because it’s so simple. I would never expect Ilsa to perform a complex trick or obey a command in a stressful environment if I wasn’t sure she would normally do it 99.9% of the time.

Nose games are particularly useful because they can be the basis for more complex commands. We put together a short video to demonstrate how we built the fundamentals for this game and how we’re now using for maneuvers like a “right finish” for rally-o. Hope you enjoy.


3 Responses to “Nose game fun!”

  1. Anna February 15, 2012 at 9:07 AM #

    Luna and wyatt both love to “touch” too, I think I may use it to teach wyatt to “jump.” I never thought to use it to teach a “finish” I need to work on those type of things with Luna as I want to do rally with her at some point. Guess it would be a better trick than opening the fridge door which we worked on last time. Have you ever heard of food tubes? I find Luna does better when I use that as her reward rather than kibbles/treats. Makes it easier for me too, as all she does is lick the opening. No dropped treats or misses. Which keeps her quieter and happier. She likes to bark at me too when I am making her extend her work lol.


    • Ben February 15, 2012 at 1:12 PM #

      Opening the fridge door sounds like a great trick!! I better not do that with Gumbo though or he might open it and eat everything in sight…

      Thanks for the food tube suggestion – I’ve never seen that before. Might be a big help as Ilsa can be quite chatty 😉

  2. 2browndawgs February 15, 2012 at 2:08 PM #

    That is great!

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