“Catch” encourages your puppy to focus on you as your puppy must really concentrate to catch the food. “Catch” also encourages your puppy to keep all 4 feet on the floor rather than jumping and helps to bring the proximity required for good heel work and loose lead walking practice.

You may think that “Catch” will encourage your puppy to jump but in fact the opposite is true in most cases. This is because you puppy concentrates on looking for the treat falling near to its mouth during the game.

I love this game for boisterous and excitable dogs and puppies that need to learn some self-control and focus.

As the name indicates, “Catch” involves your puppy catching a food treat that is being dropped. The important skill is in how the treat is dropped.  The treat should not be thrown at the puppy as this might encourage the puppy to jump. Instead, drop the treat just in front of your dog’s nose in a straight line.

 To play the “Catch” game:

  1. Try to have your hand roughly above your dog’s nose. Start quite low, too big a distance between your hand and your puppy’s nose may make the game difficult to start with.
  2. Drop the treat. This should fall right in front of your puppy’s nose.
  3. Your puppy should try to catch the treat.
  4. When your puppy is managing to catch the food, you can add the word “Catch” to the behaviour.

It is a difficult game for a young puppy to learn. Some puppies initially really struggle to catch the treats. If the puppy finds it too difficult and does not open its mouth use your clicker and click as soon as the puppy attempts to open his mouth to encourage the behaviour.