In this video, Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP) Charissa Carvell and her dog, Bailey, demonstrate how to create positive associations with the “Say Hi” game. During the game, the dog learns to step toward the scary object, sniff, and then come back to you.
- Set up the object at a safe distance from your dog. The first time you play the game, choose an object that won’t be too scary. In this video, the object is a brown paper bag.
- Use a hand target to guide your dog toward the object. To reset, use high-value treats to reward your dog away from the object.
- Continue targeting closer to the object until your dog feels confident
- As you get closer to the object, change to a verbal cue to “say hi.”
- If your dog offers to target the object without your hand cue, click and treat!
Over time, and with repetition, your dog learns that objects he was once fearful of are not only not harmless, but that their presence means good things!
What different objects can you teach your dog to “say hi” to? The possibilities are endless! For more information and ideas, check out our blogs and our Dog Trainer Foundations course!