I ALWAYS teach my K9 crew to catch... There are several benefits, not the least of which being you can reward at a distance. Spark Plug (my right-hand man, pictured about) and I are phenomenal at this, and therein lies another reason to teach this skill. We play off of each other - if my throw is a little off, he'll compensate. If he is in a compromising training position, as will I. It's really fun & convenient to be able to treat your dog by throwing a treat.
Benefit #1: the ability to reward quickly and "fun-ly" at a distance!
Benefit #2: coordination & training practice for you both
Benefit #3: challenging your smarty-pants K9 kid - this is a great game for a rainy day!
So... the benefits have been established, now here's a few ways you can teach it! I promise you, your dog IS capable of learning this - we don't give them enough credit sometimes.
***This requires that your dog NOT act aggressively when food hits the floor or you take food away. Watch it with involving the kids in this, but involving the kids with this trick CAN be extremely helpful & fun!***
ONE WAY THREE WAY!
Grab a couple friends (kids, neighbors the dog is cool with, buddies) and stand in a circle with the dog in the middle. Toss him a treat - make it EASY, Superman, with either an underhand toss or a drop from hand about a foot from the dog's mouth. If Dog doesn't catch it, someone else picks it up and the game begins again!
HAVE A REALLY GOOD "LEAVE-IT" CUE
This one seems self-explanatory to me. If your dog knows "leave it" and the treat hits the ground, cue "leave it," pick it up, and start again. ***Be mindful not to sound MEAN or MAD when doing this exercise.***
Have a blast, and believe me, we'd love to see your videos! Check out the rest of the website at www.hexdogs.com.