Feedback for Functional Play Development

Mark, Mark, Mark, another breathtaking course! You know my dogs from the Relationship Courses I took. You know, that one of them, Slippie, does not pick up anything , is very food orientated and not at all interested in toys. In between - this for most people may seem no progress at all - she watches interested what is going on, when I play with one of the others. This reaction for me is quite surprising and tells me, one day she might start to play.

The other two have learned to play tug of war much better, although they will need more experience with playing and I myself too. ┬░Building Play Drive" has become for me one of my most convincing expressions during this course. When I bought my first two dogs I had zero experience. My way of playing was a shame. I missed the best phases of my dogs early life, because my playing techniques were limited to throwing sticks, balls and coconuts! I had also been warned from even professional - ??? - sides to play tug with Pitbulls or other powerful breeds. My mindset already began to change with the RG courses. But I still had not really grasped, what the actual goal of the game is. I took it as very valuable to have a substitute reward for the food, which of course it is as well, as dogs adore to play.

The "Rules of Play┬░ course was an eye opener. It turned my attitude upside down. It made me slowly understand, that it is the interaction which really counts, much more even than the toy itself. It made me observe the reactions of my dogs better and I noticed, that they are much too smart. We can not cheat them. They recognize perfectly, whether the handler himself is having fun or if he is just playing in an calculating manner. If he is not fascinated by playing, just wanting to teach with a purpose, - game as substitute of food reward, as useful technique for obedience training - he will not convince and fascinate the dogs. But of course as a secondary effect the game then can be integrated very effectively in obedience and other training.

True INTERACTION and you got them. Although still with poor tugging skills I had the happiest moments with those playful creatures in a way that they - as you accentuate it - ignore the distractions of their surroundings. In my personal case I still have to take care where there could be too many or too strong distractions competing with me. But this is a matter of time and practice.

I know I am a bit wordy, but this is for me absolutely the centerpiece of this course. To recognize it was outstanding and I am very grateful that and how you made this clear.

The outlay of the course was perfect as always, very good built up, presented in logical, clear and short pieces, extremely good illustrated, champ of instructor, cuties of dogs. Only deficiency - not offered as an interactive course.

- Christina Stockinger on 05/09/2016

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