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Pattern games for dogs

Superbowl Pattern game

Pattern games are great for helping dogs who struggle with focus, engagement, hyperactivity, reactivity and anxiety. They provide stability and predictability which is a crucial aid in helping dogs who struggle. As with all training start somewhere with low distractions such as in the house and build up to playing these games in different environments

  • Place some markers on the floor, these can be plastic cups, flower pots, flat discs, it doesn't matter, they are really so you and your dog can follow the trail.

  • Start the game by practicing in one spot. Place a treat on the ground in front of you and allow your dog to eat it.

  • Wait for your dog to look at you, as they do mark by placing another treat on the ground in front of you for them to eat (you can use their daily kibble allowance whilst in a low distraction environment)

  • Repeat this several times until your dog is reliably looking up at you for another treat.

  • Walk towards your first marker. (you may have your dog on a loose lead if needed)

  • Stop by the marker and wait for your dog to look up at you

  • As soon as they do put a treat on top of the marker for them to eat.

  • Repeat a couple of times on each marker before moving to the next

  • Once you can walk to each marker and your dog reliably looks up at you for a treat, cut down to one rep on each marker.

  • Practice this in many different areas and with many different distractions, starting easy and working up as your dog becomes more focused on you.

  • Remember Always work at your dog's pace and if at any time they struggle rewind a few steps to where they were able to focus.

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