K9 Kamp: Final Challenge

It’s hard to believe, but the final challenge at K9 “Boot” Kamp is complete. Despite all the complaining I did, I am actually kind of sad it’s all over. Now I’m going to have to come up with topics to write about all by myself!

I love how the evil darklords Kamp counsellors saved the best challenge for last. This one was almost a reward for all of the pain and torture they made us endure the last few weeks. Shiva and I both love, love, love chase games. We’ve played them from the very start as a fun way of training the recall. Now I often find myself giggling out loud when I hear her footsteps scurrying behind me. The expression on her face is hilarious, but if I look too long she’ll be on top of me!
The curious thing is, Shiva doesn’t like to be chased very much. Not by me anyway. Apparently I am too slow to make it fun. After a few attempts with her running off and me flailing behind her, she gave up and sat down, looking totally bored.

Can you see her way out there? She's so ashamed, she won't even look me in the eye

Whatever the reason, she often reverts to the fun sport of chasing me instead. That way it’s a challenge for both of us. Shiva really is the best personal trainer a gal like me could ask for.

As we were quickly running out of daylight, I had to get her to chase me down the street for this photo. This is not where we usually play!

I love to combine these games with hide and go seek, especially during our early morning walks in the forest. I will put her in a sit-stay  then take off to hide somewhere. When I call out “find me!” I start running and try to hide somewhere else before she can catch me. The dark is an added bonus as it takes her a few extra seconds to see me. We play this inside a lot too, running around the wall that separates our living room and kitchen. Eventually Shiva catches on and will stop, waiting to hear which direction I ran so she can catch me on the other side. It’s hilarious watching her try to out-smart me. I can’t lie; she often does!
Can’t get enough of K9 Kamp? Find out how the others fared by checking in with Kolchak and Peggy. Also, if you are interested in learning more about the sport of dog agility, I recently wrote a guest post on the subject for Kolchak. Let me know if I have convinced you to give it a try yourself!

21 thoughts on “K9 Kamp: Final Challenge

  1. You’re so funny! It’s obvious that Shiva has the best DogMom ever. Just goes to show that we can create fun, exercise and mental stimulation for our dogs without any toys at all.

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  2. hey anything for a photo 🙂 im bad about that – I will normally do things I dont sometimes to get a photo 🙂

    Well im very proud of you for completing the task – she has a great dog mom. I am full of dog envy as usual.

    Fred loves to be chased…but then again he is weird. Haylie gets all confused cause she prefers to chase me. 🙂 weird dogs.

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  3. Honey and I love to play chase too. And you’re right, a fast dog won’t often enjoying being chased–we’re not fast enough to make it a challenge.

    A cemetery is a fun place to play chase. There’s lots of mounds and gravestones to hide behind.

    Of course I ascribe to the Victorian notion of graveyards being recreational areas where we can visit among the dead. But we don’t play our games when other folks are around to avoid offending someone without Honey’s appreciation for history.

    And you’re right. It’s a fun way to train a good recall.

    Congratulations on completing the challenge. It was lots of fun to follow.

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    • I love the idea of playing in a cemetary! There are plenty around. It’s been some time since I took a walk through one of the many older ones in my city. Unfortunately, the closest one does not allow dogs, which I think is a bit snobbish. I am sure the dead would love to have an animal or two around.

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    • Soley? No. Our recall training has been ongoing since day one, it’s still mostly a work in progress. Until I can reliably call her away from food I won’t consider it perfect. But I find games like hide and seek make the work a lot more fun. If you like, I can send you a list of all the games we have played.

      Last year we took an online recall course through Susan Garrett, which was a major help. Just let me know and I will put something together for you. Recall has been our biggest struggle, especially in agility. I’d be happy to help someone else going through the same thing!

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  4. Ha! That’s awesome! And clearly tonnes of fun!

    The Husband and I like to do Hide-and-Seek as a team. One of us will run off and hide, call Moses, and while Moses is running to that person, the other one will go hide, and call Moses once he’s found the first person. And while he’s looking for the second person, the first one goes and hides again. And so on. It’s lots of fun (for everyone), great exercise, and also a good way to practice recall without it feeling like “practice”.

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    • We play that same game! It’s such a blast. I normally give myself away by laughing out loud when I hear her sniffing around for me. You’re right in that it definitely makes the work of training a lot more fun!

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  5. Congratulations on finishing! Nice job.

    Bella and I chase each other around the house but you and I have the same problem outside – Bella is much too fast to make my chasing her interesting. She’s also much too fast to make her chasing me a challenge. Hrumph.

    Luckily her boyfriend is a Borzoi so she can get her chase on with him.

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  6. Evil darklords, hahaha! I love your game of hide and seek. I also loved your agility post, Kelly would so love to do it, she is an expert jumper. But she first needs to brush up on her obedience. Also, I’ve wanted to take her to agility classes but she’s not really great with other dogs. The fur stands up on her back and neck and she will bark and maybe even snap. Do you think it’s possible I could ever do agility with her? We also have a tiny yard and no great place to practice. But…maybe we can HURDLE these obstacles!

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    • Thanks! I am glad you liked it.

      Yes, yes you can definitely do agility. Most dogs at trials have some sort of reactitivity issue. I am not even joking. I bet it’s close to 80 to 90%. The sport is primarily made up of super high-drive border collies and shelties, dogs known for their brilliance but also for their touchiness. Most people get the need to give other dogs their space. I bet if you attend a class you will find Kelly is actually friendlier with the other dogs than the other dogs are with her!

      It’s also a great activity for dogs with issues like that as it gives them confidence and teaches them how to work with distractions. They learn it’s okay to have other dogs in their surrounding area without feeling anxious.

      As for the yard, we don’t have a fenced yard at all. Our backyard is completely open and we share it with our neighbours on the other side of our duplex. I do most of my practicing in my little living room, and at the dog park when I can.

      Have I convinced you to give it a try with Kelly yet? You won’t regret it, I promise!

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  7. You guys are so cute 🙂 We play hide and seek in the woods with Cali too . . usually my hubby will hide and I’ll say, “where’s daddy?” and she will be off . . she always finds us, so obviously we aren’t very good at hiding 🙂 Congrats on finishing the challenge!!

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  8. Frankie and I like to play chasey games too. Beryl looks down her nose at us like we’re a couple of delinquents! But she will chase me if we’re at the beach, which lasts all of .075 seconds before she passes me.

    The challenge sounds like it was a lot of fun for everyone … and hard work! Well done on sticking to it.

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