I always tell my students it’s nice to have a dog that sits and downs when you ask her to. It’s nice to have a dog that has manners. It’s fun to teach a dog to play agility, treibball, or tricks.
However it is important to train a dog to have a Reliable Recall. Chase games are an important part of recall training. The 101 Ways To Think Inside The Box is a game that can be incorporated within a Chase game. I use it as a high value reward at the end of a chase game. More on that later.
This game has multiple uses:
- Use with a geriatric dog who is limited physically for providing an adventure and / or their recall training.
- Dogs who are having to rehab from an injury and need mental stimulation.
- Teaching problem solving.
- Allowing a dog to fulfill their instinctive needs – such as shredding, nosework, chewing and digging.
- Used as a Jackpot reward.
- Use as a delayed reward.
- Provide quiet time while still offering mental stimulation and nosework so you can get some work done – aka a rainy day game.
- It can be interactive, depending on what you put in it.
How to Make the 101 Box
The size of the box will depend on the size of your dog, and how much you want to put in it. Supervision is recommended.
There are 101 different ways you can stuff your box. You can use your dogs meal, or use healthy treats to stuff various items you put in the box. Be creative. You can use all kinds of things you have around the house. There are toys you can use, including problem solving toys. Here are a few items I recently used to fill one box.
Place your treats or food in places that are challenging for the dog to get to. Some examples are;
- Stuff a cereal box with paper with some treats in the paper
- Put treats in an empty toilet paper roll and fold in the ends
- Place treats in a different spots of a fleece braid (which you can also make yourself)
- A peeled hard boiled egg in a egg carton
- Treats in the center of a washcloth with the ends tied together with something the dog can pull off to get to the treats.
- Treats inside a stuffed animal toy or bait toy
- Stuffed Kong placed inside something else in the box
- Roll treats inside strips of fleece, that are placed inside a Hol-ee Roller ball. This is great for a dog that likes to shred.
Back to our Reliable Recall. In the stages of training an advanced or challenging recall, perhaps when calling amongst a high distraction – use your 101 box as a high value reward.
Drag your 101 Box at the end of a fleece rope to incorporate a chase game that is filled with all the things that will provide your dog a reward that can fulfill his prey instincts – all wrapped in one box!
The Results? While walking off leash a cat crosses our path running. My sweet Border Collie HalfMoon looks at me, waiting for and wanting to play chase with me more than wanting to chase the cat.
What items can you think of to place inside your 101 Box?
Debbie’s dogs demonstrate their recall!