Why Play Games? They're Fun!
What are the RULES of a game? Be it a spell out rules or unspoken rules. Let's have a look at the definition of the RULES of a game.
General standards, guidelines, or governing principles of how something is done or how one should behave in a given situation or endeavour, especially those that are informal or unspoken. Unfortunately, smear tactics and name-calling are just part of the rules of the game in an election these days.
Rules provide an agreement of understanding of the competition. ... Rules govern anything from wearing proper uniforms to how to keep score during games of different levels of competition. The rules of a game apply to players, coaches and officials, and vary among different sports and age groups.
However, our blog today is not discussing the actual rules or strategy of the games. We are looking at the Spirit of the Games as in how we should apply to Dog Training Sessions. Just like in the Olympic Spirit.
The mission of Olympic Spirit is "to build a peaceful and better world in the Olympic Spirit which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play - Olympic Spirit strives to inspire and motivate the youth of the world to be the best they can be through educational and entertaining interactive challenges.
Below are some of the benefits of playing games.
Physical Stimulation. Frequent and active play helps keep your dog's heart-healthy, keeps the joints lubricated, and improves his overall balance and coordination.
Mental Stimulation. Games with rules make your dog use his brain, not just his body. This can help keep his mind sharp and focused.
Social skillsets. When your dog plays with other dogs and other people, it helps improve his overall social skills. He or she learns basic rules and how to play by them.
Bonding Session. Even if it's only for a few minutes a day, playing with your dog helps strengthen the bond and trust between you.
Your very own health. What better way to alleviate the stress of a busy workday and get a bit of exercise than to come home and play with your dog? It's a win-win for both of you.
Now that you understand what are games and the benefits you can harness from it. I want to bring you into the mindset of a Game Players and how we can use the player's mindset to train our puppy to be successful.
Let's look back at why we engage or start wanting to play the game. It can be because everyone is playing the game, why not join in the van wagon. Or it is because I am interested in the game itself and playing brings fun, excitement and satisfaction. Regardless of the reasons, I want to focus on the mindset of the Game Players.
I think the most important aspect of playing games is no matter, you win or lose, you can come back with the challenge again. It's the same with Olympic Participants, they trained for 4 years, to get themselves at the peak to compete to WIN, once every four years.
If we look at dog training and learning a specific skill set as a game, you would have provided a better environment for your dog to learn.
Your puppy will become proactive and not passive
Your puppy will dare to make mistakes,
Your puppy will take initiative,
Your puppy will think out of the box,
Your puppy will always take the challenge,
Your puppy never gives up.
Being harsh in training will always result in a passive puppy, a passive puppy is one who does not want to take the risk. Believe in the status quo and strive to remain inactive until an external factor or force is being applied. Such puppy usually is shutting down and is never a thinking puppy. However, if training is treated as a game, it will be opened up the possibility of Initiative, your puppy learning it is possible to do things out of the box.
Corrective or harsh training will stop your learner to even try to learn. Making mistakes is detrimental. It sometimes shameful and magnified. Our puppy will not want to make any mistakes, as making mistakes is almost treated as 'life-threatening'. Such a negative association makes our learner, don't even want to give it a try.
However, if training is just a game, confronting failure or getting into failure is never a big deal, as you will always have the chance to challenge and get it right. The approach of the training makes the difference.
Start making your training as a game. Your puppy will be so thrilled to engage with you in your games. Positively Trained Dogs Can Do It All!