At Molasses Creek Dog Training, we teach a lot of families with children. We really like to include the children in the training process because we want them to feel like they are a very important part of the process. Training games are perfect for encouraging controlled fun between dogs and children.

Paw Note: It is very important that an adult always teach games to the dog before including the children.


  •  Hide-and-seek

This game is a blast for both the dog and the children. One child or parent distracts the dog while the child hides and calls for him. The child hiding calls “Sparky, Come!" This also reinforces the “come when called” command, plus this cue can be an important lifesaver. When the child who is hiding is found, she gives the dog lots of praise and a treat. Once the dog gets the hang of the game, the hider can make it more challenging by hiding behind a door or under a bed while another child or an adult encourages the dog to "go find Aislen!" This game provides physical exercise and mental enrichment for your dog. This is a great game for that active dog or puppy that needs to blow off some steam and needs exercise when the weather is not cooperating or you are under the weather!

Paw Note: Remember that adult (active- not playing or talking on your smart phone, PC or folding the laundry) supervision is essential during play sessions since excitement can lead to over-arousal in either the dog or the children.

  • Fetch

The age-old game of fetch never gets old for your canine friend. The dog fetches a ball, a Frisbee, or a toy, brings it back and drops the fetched toy by your feet, and waits for you to throw it again. Start by getting the dog interested and excited about the toy that is in your hand. Now throw the toy a short distance away from you. Say “go fetch” or use any other cue you like. Encourage the dog back to you in a happy, upbeat voice with inviting body language (human squatted down with arms opened as to invite). If the dog brings the toy to you, cue him with “Drop it.” If your dog needs more encouragement to bring back the toy, you can increase your odds by having an identical toy appear in your hands as he returns. Most times the dog will drop what is in his mouth because he sees the toy in your hand. If the dog has the toy in his mouth and will not release it, offer a treat really close to his nose as you say ”Drop it.” The dog usually can’t have the toy in his mouth and eat the treat at the same time. The dog will eventually drop the toy if the treat is especially good. Always praise your dog when he drops the toy. You can eliminate the treats as soon as possible because continuing the game will be the reward for returning the toy to you.

Paw Note: You always start the game, and you end the game.

Do not allow your dog to play to the point of exhaustion. Always finish the game before the dog does; try keeping the dog always wanting more. You do not want the dog to teach you how to play the game! If the dog tries to engage in a game of tug of war or refuses to give up the toy, end the game by ignoring or walking away from the dog. Never chase the dog to get the toy! Count to 10 (one good dog, two good dog, three good dog etc.) before starting again. When the dog has the game down to a science, you can incorporate cues like sit or down before throwing the toy. Now you’re turning work into fun for you and your dog.

Paw Note: Any game that puts the strength or speed of the dog against that of the child could lead to over-excitement and even a biting accident. Adult supervision and proper training are essential.


  • Stay inside hula hoop (clicker game)


This is an advanced game for the family and dog. Place a large hula hoop on the floor and give each child a clicker and some small dog treats. (If you do not have a hula hoop substitute a rope or anything that will make a circle.) The child should toss a treat into the center of the hula hoop to get started. When the dog has eaten the first treat, the child should click before he steps outside the hula hoop and toss in another treat. The goal is to click and reward as often as possible while the dog has all four paws inside the hula hoop. Once the dog has the idea that the place to be is inside the hula hoop, the child can start moving around the room slowly, still clicking and tossing treats into the hula hoop. If the dog stays in the hula hoop, the child can get creative with movements like jumping or waving hands in the air.

Paw Note: Humans need to be patient while teaching their dog any game.

Do not be too distractive too soon. The idea is to keep the dog in the hula hoop. Play this game in different rooms of the house and then eventually outside. The dog will learn to go and lie down within the hula hoop. When that happens, you can take the hula hoop into any situation where you need to establish a boundary for the dog. A hula hoop game is easier and safer than using a rope to tie up your dog! Paw Note: A family that plays together stays together!


New Classes Starting:

Puppy Bowl Party                 2/4 Sun 2:00 p.m.   

Puppy I Manners               1/25 Thur. 7:30 p.m.

Teenrover/Adult-Manners   1/22 Mon. 6:00 p.m.

Teenrover/Adult-Manners    1/28 Sun. 11:00 a.m.

Novice Trick Dog (NTD)            2/24 Sat. 10:00 a.m  

AKC Canine Good Citizen 2/19 Mon. 7:00 p.m.  

Puppy I Manners                 2/10 Sat. 12:30 p.m.

Teenrover/Adult-Manners   2/11 Sun. 1:00 p.m. 

Check calendar for more scheduled classes!