Any good \'brain games\' you play with your Aussie?

lindsay downslindsay downs San DiegoPosts: 2,848Member
edited 22 December, 2013 in Australian Shepherd
We all know how important it is to keep those giant Aussie brains working, please share your favorites!


  • Kelly BrownKelly Brown QLDPosts: 10,991Member
    edited 27 October, 2008
    Well, we've only had Rusty for 5 months, but one's we've played so far are the treat ball game!!|$||$| We have a little treat ball, and we put treats in it. Rusty loves trying to get the treats out!|$||$|
  • Joshua MadsenJoshua Madsen OrlandoPosts: 321Member
    edited 6 November, 2008
    treat balls are a great way to work the mind. we were doing s&r work with tommy until he got really bad ticks and we had to shave him. now we train for long distance frisbee but still play hide and seek in the house which is a BLAST for him.
  • Jessica & Jason CrickmoreJessica & Jason Crickmore Posts: 25Member
    edited 7 November, 2008
    Ive been working on the frisbee with Baron and Im starting to get a lil discouraged. He undestands the concept and hell will actually go for it once or twice but after that hes kinda over it. Ive done all that I can really think of to get him into it. I hold the frisbee up in the air and let him jump up and catch it and he gets that with out a problem, just seems that he doesnt always wanna go for it when I throw it. Ive tried treats and he went for that at first to but then after a couple tosses it was over. The thing is he gets all excited about the frisbee itself, until I actually throw it, sometimes hell just watch it go and other times hell take a few steps, waits till it falls then goes and gets it. Anyone got any pointers?
  • Mandi CarterMandi Carter Lago VistaPosts: 79Member
    edited 11 November, 2008
    Baron, we have the same issue. Izzie get pretty into the frisbee or ball in the house, but when we go outside, she loses interest. I know that would be a great way to exercise her, but I guess there are just too many other sites & sounds around? I'm thinking that, with age, the interest might increase. Last weekend while we were at the dog park Izzie started messing with a frisbee that was on the ground, so I'm not losing hope yet. Maybe the same will apply to your guy.
  • Jessica & Jason CrickmoreJessica & Jason Crickmore Posts: 25Member
    edited 11 November, 2008
    I sure hope thats the case. That tends to be his problem too. Once hes outside theres apparently just way too much other cool stuff to see. His sister isnt too into the frisbee either but I didnt expect her to be. Shes a beagle mix so she spends most her time outside nose to the ground sniffin, and when shes not doin that shes usually playing with Baron. I hope I can get him into it though.
  • lindsay downslindsay downs San DiegoPosts: 2,848Member
    edited 11 November, 2008
    Mia's just started to enjoy the frisbee, she hasn't figured out that she's supposed to bring it BACK however. She has the opposite the dog park all she's interested in is the ball, she'll exchange butt sniffs with other dogs if they come up to her...but other than that her eyes are on the ball.
  • Cisco CarrigCisco Carrig WatervlietPosts: 35Member
    edited 16 November, 2008
    Are you all using "soft-bite" frisbies? I find them to be the best overall. They don't have the long range of the plastic ones, but once the plastic ones get used and chewed a bit they can cut your pups gums. They are nice and bright, float, "hang" in the air a bit longer, and make a more exciting noise when caught. Avoid the cheaper "floppy-flyer" sold at Wal-Mart and discount stores. The right ones are bink with green borders. Try not to leave them in the sun or they will fade. The brain game I play is "leave it" where I have Basia heel, I toss the frisbie, and then have her fetch it. In doors we play fetch with a tennis ball, and then I hide it somewhere in the house. The strong odor makes them easy to find, so after some practice you can start hiding them between cushions and on bookshelves. Not next to fragile collectables though. ;)
  • Kimberly SeymourKimberly Seymour Portland, P-Town, No-PoPosts: 181Member
    edited 18 November, 2008
    My pup has the idea of going after the ball or object. Catching, retrieving, and bringing it back, however, is not something he has the slightest interest in. Any tips? lol And how, oh how do you hide the object in the house? Samson wants to be with me all the time when I'm home that I can never get away from him long enough to hide anything! lol We're working on stay, but it's just not clicking...
  • Em ReinhardtEm Reinhardt Posts: 11Member
    edited 18 November, 2008
    I worked with my Yub(1 yr old) on waiting/staying using the stairs, cause he'd always nearly take us out on the stairs cause he'd barrel down or up while we were still on them. I've got a no pull harness for him so I put it on with the leash and when I took a step on the stairs and he lunged forward to go up I gave a quick correction with a sharp "Wait!" and brought him back down to the floor. he picked it up really fast cause he kept getting frustrated that we kept going back down to the floor. after he was able to wait at the bottom or top of the stairs (I still tell him "wait" when I'm about to go down/up) I worked with him at the door, waiting till I was inside or outside before he came out. now I can tell him wait anywhere at the house and he sits, sometimes impatiently, and waits for me to call him.
  • Joshua MadsenJoshua Madsen OrlandoPosts: 321Member
    edited 18 November, 2008
    feed your pups out of the frisbee and do that thing you were talking about where you hold it in the air. Have him or her jump after it and get them really excited for it and then put it away. Always end play sessions with them wanting more if you are trying to increase the drive. Even if you know they get bored after 2 mins stop after one so its still always fun and little by little things will get longer and more intense. I used to work with the trainer that trains the local police dogs, personal protection dogs, and the one that trained thomas for search and rescue. i dont know all the answers on health issues but with training i usually have a good idea.
  • Cisco CarrigCisco Carrig WatervlietPosts: 35Member
    edited 18 November, 2008
    Regarding Commands and Training. The proper way to train your pup the "sit" command is to ALSO train a "release" command. Often people are happy enough to see their dog sit on command, but forget to teach the release portion. "Sit" should be sit and stay until the next command. I'd start with getting a pup to stay when lying down because it is slower for them to get up and move, than compared to just sitting. Before playing mind games get the basics down. They also make it much easier to take your dog more places too. Sit, Stay, Down, Come, Heel, and a universal attention getter (correction) sound such as "Pssht," clicker, clap, finger snap, whistle, or verbal release command are invaluable. I went a little farther and visually trained Basia with subtle hand motions. As an example, along with the "stay" command I make a two finger pointing motion. Now I can just hold two fingers out at anytime, and she will stay where she is. The key to this sort of training is consistency. If you have multiple family members, get together and use the same reward/correction techniques. Teaching my Aussie not to chase or follow on command was NOT easy. With all training, when you find yourself get frustrated, remember do something else for a bit, and try it again and again. Have fun, good luck!
  • Mandi CarterMandi Carter Lago VistaPosts: 79Member
    edited 22 November, 2008
    Thanks for all of the tips! I just met a lady at the dogpark who has an Aussie who is very impressive with the frisbee, adn she gave me the same advice. Feed Izzie out of the frisbee, have it out when you get home from work so she associates it with good things. And, start working with her in very well known environments, like your front porch or yard, vs the park. We had a plastic orange frisbee, but Izzie just chewed it up. I bought a soft frisbee at WalMart, pink & turquoise, and she likes it more. I will try the pink & green one's I've seen. As for brain games, we are still working on the basic commands. I bought this book 101 Dog Tricks by Kyra Sundance & Chalcy, and it has tons of tricks, all with pictures, and mainly works on tricks that build on one another. We are working on some stuff from there, and I think there are enough ideas in there to last a lifetime! Good luck!
  • Heather BordeHeather Borde RioPosts: 661Member
    edited 2 December, 2008
    Our favorite game is "hide and seek" Mom puts us on a "wait" and then runs and hides somewhere in the yard (we have 6 acres) and then we get the release word. Eyes and nose come into play big time;-) ...and remembering Moms favorite hiding spots also helps!
  • Alex EngleAlex Engle Posts: 57Member
    edited 3 December, 2008
    I started introducing Indy to the whole frisbee thing at around four months. My friend won the state champion competition here with her dog who is Indy's nephew in the line. We don't feed out of the frisbee a lot of people have said to do that but he is not food driven as much as he's toy driven. What we did when we first started before six months we used rollers...I would get him very very excited on the frisbee and then roll it he would catch it and bring it back. I use soft frisbees as well...but I use the blunt edge frisbee when we train on low catches. How we got up to that though was just getting him very very exicted on it...make the frisbee a high prize. I don't allow him to see the frisbee when I'm not with him. The frisbee is a VERY exciting toy...Dad doesn't show me this a lot I don't get to play with this a lot. That is how we train it...just make it something he craves kinda feeding the fire. I always end the training session when he's still very excited. I don't let it get boring. Its hard to do...takes a lot of discipline. I love brain games though to get back onto topic...I have given all his toys names...make him go get the specific one...also we have treat balls that we use sometimes too. I love to watch him think.
  • Lani PayneLani Payne Posts: 1Member
    edited 3 December, 2008
    I make her lie down. Then I tell her to stay. I place a treat in front of her nose; all the while making her stay. I walk about 15 feet away; and count to 15. I then say \"OK!\", and she gobbles it up and runs laps around me in joy!
  • lindsay downslindsay downs San DiegoPosts: 2,848Member
    edited 3 December, 2008
    Her favorite brain game for ME is "Guess what strange object is in my poop today?" Ah, the chewing stage... We had a behaviorist come in a few nights ago & worked a little with clicker training. She stood in front of Mia & slowly taught her to bow her head, it was a great excersise in that Mia had to figure out on her own what got the reward. We were all pretty exhausted after that!
  • kaylee Elliskaylee Ellis San AntonioPosts: 2Member
    edited 27 May, 2009
    Sorry to bring up and old thread but lately we found a very good "Brain Game" to play with with Kaylee. I tought her to recognize my keys and while I play with her my husband hides the keys (not too hard just some where on the floor or on a low table). Then I tell her to find the keys. She looks all over the house till she finds it. She really like the game and I feel that is good for her brain.
  • Natasha GrayNatasha Gray OttawaPosts: 35Member
    edited 29 May, 2009
    Nice trick Kaylee! Now you can help mom when she loses her keys... That would definitely come in handy in my home =D> Lexus is gonna have to learn this one!! As for us... we're just beginning, so fetching is one of our favourites. At first Lex would run for it and never bring it back. I figured out that if I kneel down to her level she gets so excited that she brings it back to me... Success! Now she's fetching anything! I always remember to end the game too so she doesn't get bored. We also have a treat ball... this helps with her hour of restlessness at night. The little bell at the door to go pee is not meant to be a game... however Lexus sure thinks it is!! She loooves making her mommy take her out 50 times before bed. I'm pretty sure she's laughing inside at me... :))
  • Steve SSteve S Posts: 5Member
    edited 9 June, 2013
    I have 6 month old the will catch frisbee. Started with a ball first. but what I have learned with Aussi if they get it right you jump up and down like it was the best thing ever. I've stop frisbee throwing because people say hes to young to jump and catch it
  • Krystal CowartKrystal Cowart Posts: 1Member
    edited 22 December, 2013
    I've been introducing mine to things in agility course, I started with the tunnel and he loves it! I live in Alaska so in the winter time its been difficult to get him out and exercise as much as necessary so I bought a treadmill on craigslist for cheap and he loves running on it! I definitely encourage people who can't get out enough to invest in one for you high energy dog.
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