Nemo loves to be chased. Here he is trying to convince Lucky to have a go at it. Lucky’s an old man, he’s having nothing to do with Nemie’s juvenile antics.
If Lucky won’t chase him, he usually “asks” me to do the honors. I say “asks” because he does it with body language, of course. It looks like I’m being stalked, but with an hopeful expression.
Generally, I’ll take him up on his request. He loves it and I could always use a little more cardio in my daily routine!
Some people, however, find themselves chasing their dog and not enjoying it. They’re chasing because either the dog won’t come when called and enjoys playing keep-away, or because the dog has something ‘forbidden’ and is running through the house to avoid being caught (or to further entice their person to give chase). This post deals with the dog who enjoys playing keep-away.
If you’re chasing your dog because he hovers just out of reach when you call him, try one of these:
- Bring some really yummy, special, delicious treats in your pocket. When your dog is coming in toward you, drop one of those yummies on the ground at your feet. When your dog gets close enough, gently hold onto the collar and give your dog five or ten of those yummy treats. Then <gasp> let go of his collar and let him go play some more.
- Bring your dog’s favorite toy. When he comes close enough, gently hold onto the collar. Then throw the toy (or tug, or otherwise engage your dog in the fun).
- Run in the opposite direction from your dog. He’ll be curious as to where you’re going in such a hurry!
Dogs learn very quickly if being caught “pays off” for them. If getting caught means playtime’s over, they’re going to try to extend that playtime as much as possible. If you “catch and release” your dog often during playtime, getting caught no longer predicts the end of something good, but is just something that happens during play. Most of the time it means they’ll be released to play again, and occasionally it means the fun’s over (and then you’ve got a really remarkable treat or toy in your pocket to help make getting caught a little more worth it).
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