Catch & Release Game

Does your Dog play “Catch me if you Can”

Have you ever noticed that when you approach your dog or reach for his collar, he moves away? And when you're busy and wish your dog would learn how to play solitaire, you can't get rid of him?

Dogs often learn to associate your hands reaching for their collar with negative experiences because it frequently signals an unpleasant task. For example, you might reach for your dog's collar to remove him from the couch, take something away from him that he shouldn't have, or trim his nails, give him a bath, or put him into his crate before leaving the house. How often do you reach for your dog's collar when something pleasant is about to occur, such as taking him to his food dish or giving him a treat?

If your dog doesn't come to you when you call his name, use the "Catch and Release" game to teach him that your hands and his moving toward you are positive. The game of "catch and release" creates a positive association between reaching for your dog's collar and a rewarding experience.

To begin the game, start by saying your dog's name to get its attention. Then, hold up a treat and slowly step backward while holding the treat against your leg. This will invite your dog to come close to you to take the treat. If your dog doesn't come close enough to get the treat, you can use the treat to draw your dog towards you by slowly moving it in front of your dog's nose to your leg. Keep your hand on your leg as you back up to invite your dog to come closer and get the treat. If your dog still doesn't come towards you, try using a more enticing treat like steak or cheese.

When your dog reaches for the treat, licking or nibbling it, slowly slip your other hand underneath the collar to pet. After petting for a few seconds under the collar, let go of the treat with your hand remaining on your leg. Release the collar and move away. Teach your dog that good things happen when you reach for the collar by playing the catch-and-release game often.

Tips: Moving toward a dog is perceived by the dog as a threat, while backing up is an invitation. Always take a few steps back, instead of approaching your dog when calling her.

Use high-value treats like steak, if necessary, to get your

Catch & Release game