FF420: Cabin Fever - More Games for Small Spaces and Indoors

Instructor: Donna Hill

Course Details

Rain or heat, snow or sleet are the perfect time perfect times to train indoors to burn mental and physical energy and build focus in your dog.  This course should actually be called "Fine Tuning the Retrieve" as these indoor games build on each other to enhance the dog’s understanding of how to control their mouth to choose, pick up, bring and deliver objects of all sizes, shapes and textures. The dog will learn the best way to pick up and hold objects without breaking objects or leaving toothmarks. Like Chaser, the border collie who knows more than 1000 objects by name, your dog will learn how to find lost objects by their name and scent.

The handler will learn how to reduce your dog's reliance on food reinforcers by using natural reinforcers, intermittent reinforcers, asking for multiple behaviours in a row (chaining) and substituting other reinforcers such as massage, tug or play.  This class provides tons of information and games for you to choose from. You will get your money's worth well beyond class time! There are over 100 videos plus 25 photos to demonstrate steps!

Note: There are only a few golds in this semester's class (Feb. 2015) but there are many silvers. I have planned for many topics of discussion so everyone is able to learn and have fun!

All the lessons are revealed at the beginning so handlers can choose where in the process they want to start training and go from there at their own pace.

This class is ideal for:
mouthy, grabby dogs
senior dogs looking for a job
service dogs
handlers wanting a refine retrieve
handlers with limited mobility
most games are suitable for dogs with limited mobility such as dogs recovering from surgery
therapy and trick dogs
obedience and rally dogs
people who lose objects around the house and need help finding them

Your dog will enjoy learning to:

-retrieve objects useful in every day life such as leashes and shoes before a walk 

-find and bring objects to you on the couch like the TV remote, a blanket or pillow (in view and hidden)

-put objects away in a bin  

-stacking objects (bowls, cups, dog dishes etc) 

-bring a stack of objects to you

-place rings over a post (ring toss)

-nibble your finger (and hold small objects with their front teeth)

-safely handle small objects like beads, coins and buttons without chewing or swallowing 

-put a small object in a small opening such as a coin in a piggy bank

-how to identify an object with your scent on it (a solid beginning for obedience scent discrimination exercise with articles)

-learn to identify specific common objects by name

Natural retrievers love these games and non-natural retrievers learn to enjoy the games! Dogs must already have a basic retrieve of at least 9 feet/3 meters, and be able to deliver the object to hand or drop it close to you. 



Next class session starts: February 01, 2015

Registration starts: January 22, 2015 11:30am PST

Late Registration ends: February 15, 2015 9am PST. If you are interested in a bronze level spot, you can sign up any time during the registration period.

For answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.


Lecture 1 Intro to Using Positive Reinforcement

Games 1

Retrieving Useful Objects-for natural reinforcers
leash, harness, your shoes
Lecture 2 Reinforcement schedules 
Lecture 3  Natural reinforcers
Games 2
Retrieving more useful items by name-remote, blanket, pillow etc
Proofing games
Lecture 4 Naming common objects
Games 3
Put Your Toys Away
Ring Toss
Lecture 5 Substituting other reinforcers
Games 4
Stacking Objects (bowls, cups etc)
Games 5
The Tiny Retrieve Challenge

Coin in a Penny (Piggie) Bank
Lecture 6 Safety and Small objects
Games 6 
Scent Discrimination Games
Lecture 7 What is Scent Discrimination?


Prerequisites and Equipment

Your dog must already have a basic retrieve to 10 feet away to be able to play-with the object either delivered to hand or dropped on the floor in front of you.


-old TV remote (start with one that does not work in case of teeth marks)
-face cloth, hand towel, bathtowel, small blanket
-series of 6-8 cardboard boxes or plastic containers decreasing in size largest a 2 foot square, smallest with one to two inch diameter opening (or combination of cardboard and plastic)
-dog harness/collar, leash, your shoes

-4-6 rings and the post they fit over (or a ring and a post)
-collection of 6-10 toys
-collection of buttons or coins of at least 4 different sizes

Sets of 6-10 materials for scent detection each of wood, plastic, leather, metal (ideally not the formal items for competetition)
-ideas include: wood, metal and plastic spoons, leather gloves, leather squares at least 3 inches, nylon gloves, metal canning rings, metal jar lids, plastic lids, cardboard rolls, plastic straws, wood or plastic chop sticks, braided rings of leather,  fleece or other material, one of your shoes and 5 other person's shoes, baby shoes etc

-pair of long-handled metal tongs to handle scent discrimination objects
-large ziplock plastic bag to seal objects iot when not in use