Are you looking for some good games to help reinforce training fundamentals for a Blue Heeler Puppy?
Along with tiring your dog out, they’ll help you bond and build on basic commands.
Plus, they really help make sure your pup’s indoor zoomies are kept to a minimum!
Let’s check them out!
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Games That Reinforce Training Fundamentals for a Blue Heeler Puppy
Playing games with your pup really helps reinforce training fundamentals and master commands like sit, stay, come, bring it, leave it, and more.
Take a look at five of my favorites!
Our first training exercise is an old-time favorite among dog owners, fetch.
It’s a simple way to provide your Blue Heeler with some much needed mental and physical stimulation.
Blue Heeler (also knows as Australian Cattle Dog) puppies will run after a ball that has been tossed or thrown without hesitating.
But owners would be better off starting the game closer to them than throwing it across your yard.
In other words, you must build a foundation before jumping right into the deep end.
I’d suggest starting by dropping the ball or toy in front of you and saying, “get it.”
Once they pick it up, please give them a lot of praise.
You should then negotiate a trade for the ball using a treat to reinforce the good behavior (a tasty training treat usually does wonders).
But don’t mistake this success for them being ready for the big leagues. It’s important to slowly increase the distance that you throw the toy or ball.
You must also remain consistent with this game to ensure your dog understands returning the ball’s a part of it.
If you have any trouble, return to the distance they last had success and play a little longer there.
2. Hide and Seek
Hide and seek happens to be one of my favorite training games for puppies.
It’s a fun bonding experience, which provides excellent mental stimulation and great practice for testing their recall.
But before diving into this exercise, it’d be a good idea to master the stay command. It’ll ensure your dog remains in place while you hide.
You could rely on a friend to hold your dog during the hiding process. But it’s better to master and use the stay command.
The actual training process isn’t too complicated to understand, either.
It’ll come down to these four steps that shouldn’t be very time consuming to master:
- Have them sit in the stay position or have your friend hold them.
- Find your hiding spot
- Call the puppy
- Praise them and give them a treat when they find you.
It doesn’t seem too hard when it’s laid out in these four steps.
However, your Blue Heeler will make it a frustrating process when they start losing interest in finding you.
You can avoid this situation by keeping things easy and starting with more accessible hiding spots.
After they start understanding what’s going on, you can begin trying more creative hiding spots.
3. Tug of War
Playing tug of war is an easy way to tire out a Blue Heeler puppy.
It provides a strenuous physical release to ensure your puppy will need a couple of z’s right after the play session ends.
But the benefits don’t stop there.
Tug of war happens to an excellent way of teaching a Blue Heeler impulse control and manners when they’re young.
Plus, this activity is one of the few training exercises that can happen indoors.
I do have to acknowledge tug of war does have a bad reputation among some dog owners.
It comes from people believing the game encourages your dog to become aggressive. However, this only happens when the game isn’t managed correctly.
Keeping tug of war sessions beneficial comes down to one basic rule: the game stops whenever their teeth touch your hand.
If this happens, stop the game for 30 seconds and try again.
Give them a few chances to redeem themselves before stopping the game completely.
Your puppy will start understanding that the fun stops when their teeth touch your hand.
It could take a while to grasp this rule as some dogs can get overly excited about tug of war.
In these cases, start the games slowly and avoid making noises or tugging the toy too fast.
4. Find the Treats Game
Dog owners should always look for activities that require their puppies to use their senses.
One of the easiest to teach would be “The Find the Treats Game.”
As its name suggests, the game requires your puppy to find treats hidden in specific locations.
It ends up being an effective method of tiring them out and building their focus.
The game itself being enjoyable for both dog and owner doesn’t hurt its case, either.
It also can be set up inside a home to ensure your Blue Heeler doesn’t get too distracted by a nearby squirrel.
Getting them into the game won’t be difficult. It’s a simple matter of teaching them to sniff out treats by following these seven easy steps:
- Pick up some treats and have your dog sit in a stay position.
- Set a few treats on the ground around them when they’re sitting
- Release your puppy and say, “find the treats.”
- Praise and cheer them on as they start finding them.
- Make sure to practice a couple of times until your puppy understands what “find the treats” means.
- Starting placing them in more distant places and repeat steps 3 & 4
- Place in more challenging locations, such as on a chair or furniture, and repeat steps 3 & 4
After your Blue Heeler has a good handle on the command, they should start using their instincts.
They won’t need your help and cues to find the hiding treats anymore.
You can then move onto even more challenging environments, such as the backyard.
It’ll provide a better idea about where their abilities lie when distracting factors coming into play.
Owners will know their Blue Heeler puppy is a “find the treats” expert when not even another barking dog can distract them from their mission.
The video below gives you another fun way to play this one! Check it out:
5. Ping Pong
Owners need their dogs to have an automatic response when their name is called.
In other words, you’ll want them to come over as soon as you say their name.
An effective way to teach this instinct is a game called “Ping Pong.”
It’ll require having two or more friends armed with a whistle and treats standing in different corners of a room or backyard area.
Once everyone’s in their positions, the game will commence.
Follow these basic steps, and your dog will learn name recall rather quickly:
- Call your dog over and drop some treats at your feet
- Have a second person call them over and drop another set of treats at their feet.
- The third person calls your puppy over while dropping treats at their feet.
- Call your dog back and forth between each other in an unpredictable pattern.
- Expand the game to a large area, such as a field or another open space.
This game ends up being a great way to prepare your dog for off-leash activities.
It’s a simple way to ensure they’ll listen when you’re calling them in more stressful situations.
I hope these discussions provided some ideas about games that help reinforce training fundamentals for a Blue Heeler puppy!
Just remember to keep your sessions relatively short. There is such a thing as too much fun, especially with high-energy dogs.
There’s a fine line between tired and over-tired. A tired pup will curl up and take a nap.
An overtired one will fight sleep like a toddler (and act just like one, too!).