dog on dog bedWorking on skills like “go to bed” and “stay”in training class are an important part of improving the dog and owner relationship, and their quality of life. However, sometimes students fail to make the jump in their own minds from the skill — “go to bed” or “stay” — to how they can use it in their everyday life.

Setting up and reenacting real-life situations in class can help them make this jump while also turning the process of learning these skills into a fun game.

Playing The Pizza Man Game

Marisha Maier shared a game she plays with her students that she calls the Pizza Man Game to practice these skills and help students understand how they can use them to get calm behavior at the door.

To play, she begins by choosing a volunteer to play the pizza man — she uses props from Melissa and Doug to make the game a bit more realistic and to make it a bit more fun.

The volunteer goes outside and knocks on the door. Then the dog owners practice bringing their dog to door calmly and putting them in a stay while the owner takes the pizza and pays for it.

Marisha Maier is a certified dog trainer with Animal Behavior College (ABCDT) and a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI). She is owner and trainer at Discover Pet Training. She enjoys integrating games into her training technique. You can learn more about her at her website, or on her facebook page,

Do you have a game or real-life situation you use in your training classes? Share it in the comments below.