While small dogs can be easily amused indoors with games of hide-and-seek, keeping a larger dog occupied can be more of a challenge.
The most important thing is to make sure there's plenty of space for you to work with your dog. Having a big backyard or living near a park is a plus in the summertime. If you live in a house, perhaps you have a large, spacious basement or rec room where you and your dog can play some fun and interactive training games.
Here are a few training games you can play with a larger dog:
- Obstacle Course. This is a fun game that can be played indoors or outdoors. First, set up a group of chairs or other large objects. Make sure they're spaced far enough apart so that you and your dog can maneuver around them easily. Practice the "heel" command as you weave in and out of the chairs making right and left turns.
- Find the Treat. This is a good way to reinforce the "sit" or "stay" command. After telling your dog to "sit" or "stay," hide a few of his treats around the room or yard. Once you're done, tell him to go and find the treats.
The importance of rewards
Everyone enjoys being rewarded for a job well done. Dogs are no different. However, you don't always have to give him a food treat or a toy. The way you use your voice also serves as a reward. Praise your dog while smiling and using your happiest, most enthusiastic voice. Tell him how smart and good he is when he is doing the right thing. Pats and hugs also go a long way in letting your dog know how proud you are of him.