The “Sneezing Game” is one of my all time favorite games that you can teach your dog. It is a huge crowd pleaser! But, it’s also using a fun game to reinforce the STAY behavior!!! How much fun! Once this “trick” is mastered your dog can entertain at parties, and help take care of you when you are sick. You can teach your dog to fetch an individual tissue out of the box, or bring you the entire box!
While not extremely difficult, the “sneezing game” is not a beginner “trick”. Before you can teach your dog the sneezing game it is important that your pet has first mastered the basics. Your dog should already know how to “fetch” in order to play it. If you are just beginning your coaching start by reading through the coaching materials here.
The Goal: Every time you say the command or sneeze your dog will run and fetch you a tissue.
Start by taping a box of tissues to the floor. Wiggle one of the tissues for your dog and say “Take it.” Reward him with a treat when he pulls a tissue out of the box. Once he starts to get the hang of it, take the box off of the floor and hold it at different heights. Work with your dog to take the tissue. Remember, be patient and don’t complicate the task too quickly.
Once your dog begins to get the hang of it begin to move the box a few feet away and point toward the tissues, pretending to sneeze (“Achoo!”) and saying, “Fetch.” When your dog brings you the tissue, say “Good achoo!”, and give a jackpot of Gold-level treats. After your dog begins to understand the game, you can start to eliminate the “fetch” and “drop it,” until he’s performing the behavior every time you say “Achoo!”
If you’re fake your sneezes well enough, in no time your dog will be bringing you tissues when you sneeze!
Once you get your dog to bring tissues you can also teach the dog to bring the entire box using the same principle used for the tissue. You can even get creative and teach your dog to find the box, or even throw away the tissue when you are done.
When you first hide the box, you can have someone hold your dog. But as your dog learns to STAY, ask him to Stay, and go and hide the tissue box. I like to fake the dog and pretend like I’m hiding it in a few different places, just to add to the fun of the treasure hunt. Using the Loved Dog coaching method opens the door to your imagination. Stick to the principles, use patients, praise, and of course treats!
Have fun, be creative, and keep loving your dog!!!