Find It – Layer 1

Objective:  Your dog will learn to focus on a tossed toy while remaining stationary, he will develop active resistance to restraint (opposition reflex) and he will build desire to explode forward quickly when released

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Step by Step Instructions Comments
Preparation:  You will need a toy that your puppy or dog likes to play with
If playing this game with a young puppy, sit on the floor and hold him around the chest with one arm and toss the toy with your free hand
If playing with a puppy four months and older, stand up and restrain your dog by holding him back by his halter or collar.
Initially when using a toy, you may need to get your dog’s attention by playing together with the toy before restraining him and tossing toy
While holding your dog, toss a toy about 2 meters (6 feet) ahead of you and your dog  
Encourage your dog to focus on the object and then verbally release him with ‘find it’ and let him run to the toy.  
If he runs to the toy, encourage him to come back to you with the toy by making kissy sounds, taping the floor, moving away from your dog so he has to chase you, or you can play with a second toy by yourself.  
Don’t chase your dog.  By ignoring your dog and having fun by yourself, your dog will be curious and come over to you.  You can then play together with the toy or toss the toy again for your dog to ‘Find It’
To get your puppy or dog to release the toy say “Drop” or “Out” and sprinkle some treats on the ground
When you are finished playing, say “All Done”  
Add distance away from the object as you continue playing this game.
This is a very good exercise for slower, less confident dogs that allows them to find out that speed and enthusiasm pay off.  Let these dogs win the majority of the time.
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