All for Fun: Classroom Games that Enhance Learning

Humans and dogs are social animals. We like to spend time in groups. We enjoy walks together or just sitting in each other’s company. Games can be a natural extension of the good times dogs and people spend in groups. This Session will introduce you to games designed to help dogs practice basic training exercises while in a relaxed group of their friends. The exercises give students and dogs an opportunity to improve their personal best, rather than being presented in a win/lose format. 

Birthday parties, Sunday picnics, and training classes are all good opportunities to play games that will expand the fluency of core behaviors. The games discussed in this Session are ones that Terry has played for years in her pet-dog classes. They cut across a wide range of skill levels. Terry’s class instruction protocol places dogs with reactivity issues in a separate program, concentrating on emotional responses rather than core behaviors.

Each game has one or more core behaviors as a practice goal. With creativity, a difficult game can be made easier. Conversely, an “easy” game can be made more complex for advanced dogs. Some games are just for fun… an important aspect of successful motivational training! This Session is a prerequisite and will serve as an introduction to the associated Lab where participants will have the opportunity to try some of these games.

Terry Ryan

Terry Ryan, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP, has been a Karen Pryor faculty member since 2008, teaching numerous domestic and international KPA courses a year. The founder and president of Legacy

Canine Behavior & Training, she has been a dog training class instructor since 1968.

Terry was the Coordinator of the People-Pet Partnership, a human-animal bond program of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, from 1981 until 1994. Heavily involved in a variety of canine performance events for twenty years, she was both a competitor and judge. Terry designed and built a canine education center on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, offering a wide variety of services and activities for people from around the world.

Through Legacy, Terry conducts instructor workshops and chicken training camps several times a year in the United States and abroad. Her spare time is spent writing—most recently Gamify Your Dog Training: Training Games for Group Instruction and the soon-to-be-released revision of Coaching People to Train Their Dogs.