Drilling skills in training class is no fun for anyone — so to mix things up, I like to use games we all played as children but with an added component of training.
I’ve mentioned playing “Simon Says” before.
Today I want to talk about using another game: Musical Chairs.
How to Play Musical Chairs (with your dog)
The first thing you’ll need is enough chairs for everyone in the class. We keep folding chairs on hand, and these work great — but you can also use stools or anything that keeps people off the floor.
Set the chairs up, spacing them a few feet apart.
I usually find the Chicken Dance song on youtube with my phone and use that as my music.
Instruct students to practice their loose leash walking, moving in a large circle around the chairs.
Then occasionally pause the music. When the music stops, students should rush to the nearest chair and put their dog in a sit (or a down, if you’d prefer to work that skill!) and then sit down themselves.
You can choose, if you want, to “eliminate” anyone who doesn’t make it to a chair, removing a chair each time you start the music, until there’s just one last “man” standing — or, just continue to play until you finish the song.
I usually don’t bother knocking anyone out — by the time we get to the end of the song, everyone is having fun but is also doing a pretty good job of getting a quick sit and some decent walking!