Dog Games: Have Fun By Teaching Your Dog To Become A Messenger
In World Wars I and II dogs were often used to deliver messages over long distances through enemy lines. They started their training in easier surroundings, however, and that’s how you can train your dog to make special deliveries.
For this game you need two people and one dog who likes both of you well enough to search you out. Your dog will be a messenger and deliver secret messages (or dog treats) from one of you to the other. You can go all the way and make a secret pouch in his collar for him to hold the goods, or if he likes to retrieve, you can have him carry a pouch in his mouth.
Let your dog see you place the message or treat in the pouch. This will become a signal to him that the game is about to begin. Then hold him by the collar while your friend starts to run away. Tell your dog “special delivery!” and release him, just as your friend begins to call him. When he catches up your friend should praise him, take the pouch from his collar and give him a treat.
Now the friend places a new prize in the collar and you begin to run away. Your friend directs the dog “special delivery!” and encourages him to run after you. When he reaches you, remove the pouch and praise and reward him.
Gradually increase the distance, even until the target person disappears around a corner or goes out of sight before the other person releases the dog. Most dogs can turn the corner and find their person, but returning to the original person – now sight unseen around the corner – can be the first stumbling block for many dogs .Your dog may need to be taken to the corner and sent to his target person once he sees her.
One corner is all many dogs can manage. But some dogs are natural born messengers, and you can challenge them with increasing distances and varied terrain. To work over long distances, the target person should remain stationary while the other person walks the dog far away before releasing him. That person may need to run alongside the dog back to the target person at first.
As the dog gains confidence he should gradually be able to find his way on his own. Again, once he reaches the target person, that person praises, rewards and sends him back to the original person. Now you have a dog who can run back and forth along a path and deliver messages from one person to the other. But you can make it harder.