Can you make your dog laugh? Can you interact without your dog going over the top, or just leaving you for better things? Social play is fun and therapeutic, but doesn’t always come naturally to us! Come learn with Amy how to connect to your dog by playing like a dog!
Games like fetch, tug, and personal celebration can be a great way to reinforce your dog when they have high energy and high value, but the higher the value the interaction has, the more it can also hide (dis)stress underneath! And while that’s good for coping with tough situations, it’s not a good way to work in daily life. The key to relieving stress is first to make sure you can identify it, and the earlier the better, so having a wide variety of levels of play can really help you detect stress, relieve it at its root, and then get back on with your training goals.
And for dogs for whom life is an over threshold event, therapeutic play is even more important. We all need better tools to help our dogs lighten up, shake off the tension, and learn they’re safe in the world.
Playing with a dog isn’t always easy though, and sometimes feels like the blind leading the blind! They may be reticent to play with you, overly appeasing when you try, or they may be 0-60 and really hard to handle once you open the play door! Don’t worry; there’s a strategy for all.
In this workshop, we’ll explore ways of interacting with dogs that make them laugh and feel great, but that stay collaborative, conversational, and safe for both human and dog. It will include information on why we should play with dogs with low intensity, how it can help them — and us — relax and take in new information, and how it helps us read and support them, and specific games you can try that your dog may really like, and how to know if they do! You’ll learn how to interact with your dog without being boring, misunderstood, or bowled over.