Such a lot of fun from such a simple game. This focus game is called ‘Playing Catch’ because it doesn’t really matter if your dog catches the treats or not – it’s really just playing the game that’s important.
Why is that?
That’s because whether they catch or not, what we’re doing is grabbing their focus for a little while, and that’s what’s important – not whether they actually catch or not.
They’re getting used to focusing on us as they look for that morsel of tasty before it arcs through the air at them. They have to look where the treat is coming from (us) so they can judge where it’s going to land.
- Remember, it doesn’t matter whether they catch the treats or not.
- Cheer them on if they catch or don’t (that can be trickier than you’d think – I automatically found myself cheering louder for catches and forgetting to cheer for the fails).
- Start close for easier throwing and less work for your dog.
- Maybe do a practice non-throw in the exact same arc just before you throw for real (that way, they know the arc already).
It’s a super simple game to start with – just have fun and watch how your dog gets better (and your throwing will, too) – it’s a learned skill.
If your dog can’t catch no matter how long you try – it doesn’t matter. Just enjoy the game of throwing treats on and around your dog – the most important thing is that they’re focused on you as you throw, and you’re the source of the goodies!
If your dog is catching most of the time – you can move onto Level Two.
Roscoe’s Attempt at ‘Playing Catch Level One’
Here’s Roscoe enjoying playing catch. We both enjoy this game, and so he’s pretty handy already, we started with the smaller training treats, and he got good fairly quickly. However, it might be easier for your dog to use larger treats or maybe their toy.
Let us know how you get on in the comments below – short videos, screenshots, photos – pop them all in the comments and let’s enjoy each other’s fun!
Or do you fancy levelling up? If so check out Part Two of Playing Catch.