Can I do this by myself? Do I have to have a partner to play the games?
A common question we get here at Dognition is about the need for a non-canine partner in playing the games. While having a partner makes gameplay easier logistically, most people have had great success–and a lot of fun–playing the games with just their canine. We’ve designed the games so that the instructions are easy to follow. The following are options for how to play the games with just your dog. When people play the games the following ways, the data is great and the profile report is still spot on. Let’s dive into the options:
Sit! Stay! Ok!
If your dog has a reliable sit and stay as well as a verbal release command (e.g. “Ok!” or “Come!”), then we’re confident that gameplay will be a snap for you and your dog. Have your dog sit and stay about six feet away while you set up the game. Once you are ready for your dog to participant, call him with the release command or continue with gameplay as instructed.
The Long Leash
Your dog hasn’t learned yet the necessary commands? That’s okay! The requisite for the next option is that your dog is calm so that he doesn’t get tangled or break your furniture. You know your dog best, so please only attempt this option if you believe your dog and your furniture will be safe. Here’s the steps:
1. Lengthen Your Leash: Put one 6 foot or longer non-retractable leash through the handle of another 6 foot or longer non-retractable leash.
2. Set Up: Pull one end of the leash around the leg of your couch. One end should be clipped to your dog’s collar and the other end should be with you by the game set up. Step on this end while setting up and before releasing your dog.
3. Playtime!: Once you have set up the cups or are in the correct stance, step off the leash and tell your dog “Ok!” or any cue for him to come play the game.
Covering Your Dog’s Eyes
In some games the dog’s vision must be obscured. To do this, take the dog into another room for the part he is not supposed to see, and then retrieve him and reposition him in the starting position when the set up is complete.
My lovable dog is a rowdy one!
If your dog isn’t up to snuff on his commands and is not calm enough for the leash set up, then we happily recommend the APDT directory as a place to find a great certified dog trainer. In a quick few days, your dog will be sitting, staying, and understanding a verbal release command reliably!
Taking your time, being patient and breaking up the assessment over a few days will make playing the games with just you and your canine companion just as fun and easy as doing it with a partner.
In his book ‘The Genius of Dogs’ Dr. Hare discussed the fact of how very wrong various experts got their assessment of our Canine friends in the past, and it is great to see that he is not setting himself up as the ‘ultimate’ solution to our knowledge, as I, like him have met dogs that totally defy all we have personally learned or were taught by ‘Experts’. I feel that the only way of ever getting close to understanding any living creature on this planet is to keep a very open mind and to accept that we share many genes etc with every living thing, but we are all individuals (except for twins perhaps) and there- fore unique. Unfortunately as humans we do like- and tend to put every thing into categories and boxes. I love this ‘new’ way of trying to assess our Canine friends, but strongly believe that ‘We ain’t seen nothing yet’