Gamification: Engaging Training Games for Groups

Both humans and dogs are social animals. We enjoy each other’s company. Games can be a natural extension of the good times dogs and people have together in a group setting. Training classes, club meetings, and doggy playdates are all good excuses for people and dogs to play games.

Gamification is the buzzword for a popular trend in adult education. Dog training classes fall under adult education, even though the concentration (somewhat incorrectly) seems to be on the dogs. Terry has almost fifty continuous years of experience as a dog-training class instructor. Her classes have included carefully conducted games to increase the reliability of core behavioral skills amid distractions.

Each game has an application to everyday life situations. The games stress education rather than competition, and fun rather than chaos. Not interested in “games?” Replace the word “game” with the phrase “fluency exercise” and we’ll still be on the same page.

Please note: This Session was recorded in 2017; content presented in 2018 may vary slightly.  

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.