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The Dog’s Best Friend Game™ Training Tips

Created by pet behavioralists, seasoned pet experts, and game design pros, The Dog’s Best Friend Game™ is made for super-safe, real life play. Breaks are built in, but feel free to take more! If a card isn’t a tail-thumper or gut-buster, just pass—there’s another fun challenge underneath.

Treats - Training Tips

Dogs (like humans) learn faster when rewarded for good behavior and a job well done, and treats can help you get the behavior your want. Use small size treats or break larger treats into small bites. Remember to decrease meal portions by what you give in treats.

Positive Reinforcement: Use treats along with positive reinforcement. Saying “good boy” or “good girl” is a welcome addition to training with treats.

Switch Up Your Reward System: Don’t over-treat. Continuous reinforcement will make the dog treat dependent and they will refuse to work unless they get it.

Shop West Paw Treats

Non-Slip Dog Mat — Training Tips

Giving your dog a destination like a mat or bed gives them structure. Teaching them commands like “Sit”, “Stay” and “Lay Down” reinforces these behaviors and allows them to have a safe space.

Sit: A calming tool for high energy dogs and can be helpful to defuse unwanted behaviors.

Stay: A perfect command for encouraging your dog to stay in one place. Useful for disarming situations when a dog is not welcome, it is unsafe or to encourage positive household manners.

Lay Down: It’s a fun trick and great way to have your dog learn control over excited jumping and other impulse motions.

Cups — Training Tips

Dogs love to work with you, not against you. Teaching them commands like “Jump”, “Over”, and “Around” can reinforce this and can be done by using cups as a guide to learn these commands.

Jump: Teaching your dog jump can help prevent negative jumping behavior. Jump teaches your dog to only jump on cue or over an object, like a cup.

Over & Around: Teaching 'over' or ‘around’ is a great foundation skill for sports and tricks and can make walks more interesting!

Die Toy — Training Tips

Playing with your dog helps to build a strong bond but chasing or playing keep-away is not always the game of choice. Teaching your dog to “Drop It” or “Leave It” can help save a few socks!

Drop It: Used when your dog needs to drop something out of their mouth, or to get them to 'roll' the dice! Use treats to reward for good behavior. Instead of trying to pull the toy back, wait patiently, dogs get bored!

Leave It: Use to encourage your dog to ignore something you don't want them getting into. This command helps dogs learn to ignore people, food or other dogs.

Bone Toy — Training Tips

Throw your dog a bone…and let them win once in a while! Letting your dog ‘win’ helps avoid frustration and encourages healthy playing habits. It also helps reinforce commands like “Fetch”, “Come” and “Release”.

Fetch: Use for exercise and play time. This command helps your dog focus on toys, get exercise and is a great way for you to bond with your dog.

Come: A great command that allows your dog freedom to roam, knowing they will reliably come back when called.

Release: Typically used with a release word like 'okay' or 'free'; this command gives your dog permission to stop doing what was previously asked.