Authors: Denise Fenzi and Deborah Jones, Ph.D.
Format: Paperback, 8.5" x 11"
Length: 224 pages
Release Date: 2015
Each book in the "Dog Sports Skills" series by authors Denise Fenzi and Deb Jones is a standalone resource. They are pieces of a puzzle that will eventually weave into a tapestry of concepts, ideas, and applications that create both excellence in training and a very deep respect for, and understanding of, another living creature.
In Dog Sports Skills, Book 3: Play! the authors tackle the subject of play. Although play is a simple concept, good play is not as easy to achieve as one might think—and that is the reason they decided to write an entire book on the topic!
Good play is not measured by the techniques you use, but rather the amount of enjoyment it generates between you and your dog. Each trainer and dog is unique, which means that what works for one dog won't necessarily work for others. Fenzi and Jones discuss the dog's natural play style, the importance of not overwhelming your dog with enthusiasm, and how to take a fun test to determine whether your dog is playing for fun, or because you insist. They also consider your own preferences and what to do if your dog doesn't like to play.
Fenzi and Jones cover the mechanical skills of play, all of which need to be practiced mastered for you to become an effective and efficient dog trainer. They then delve into different types of play:
- Tug games: the controversy surrounding tugging, why tug games can result in conflict, benefits of tug, selecting an appropriate tug toy, how to build tug drive, teaching the tug release, and how to fix tug problems (such as dog biting handler's hands, dog that lacks interest in public, dog with a poor grip on toy, etc.)
- Training toys: the reasons why it is important for the dog to move from a drive building toy to a training toy
- Fetch: choosing a fetch object and developing interest in it, teaching the retrieve and the release, and how to fix fetch problems (such as running away from the handler or being slow to retrieve)
- Food Play: what it is, why and when should you use it
- Personal Play: an introduction to personal play, a form of play that occurs just between you and your dog with no toys, balls or food
Dog Sports Skills, Book 3: Play! is a fantastic addition to your training library, which is sure to broaden your understanding of a crucial element of training performance dogs.
Chapter 1: Play Is in the Eye of the Beholder
Chapter 2: The Locus of Control
Chapter 3: Mechanical Skills, Art and Play
Chapter 4: Introduction to Tug Games
Chapter 5: Tug Toy Selection
Chapter 6: Building Tug Drive
Chapter 7: Switching to Training Toys
Chapter 8: The Tug Release
Chapter 9: Problem Solving for Tug
Chapter 10: The High Drive Dog
Chapter 11: Fetch: The Basics
Chapter 12: Problem Sovling Your Fetch Game
Chapter 13: Introduction to Personal Play
Chapter 14: Teach (and Learning) Personal Play
Chapter 15: Advanced Personal Play
Chapter 16: Problem Solving Your Personal Play
Chapter 17: Introduction to Food Play
Chapter 18:Food Games
Chapter 19: Problem Solving Food Play
Chapter 20: Wrapping Up and Moving On