1. How are you different than other dog subscription services?
Our 'See Spot Think!' box is the only box that provides brain games for dogs to play WITH their humans. Everything you need to work with your dog on a fun, yet purposeful activity is included! Activities are designed by dog behavior and enrichment experts and are chosen to help dogs work on a variety of important skills: self control, body awareness, focus, problem solving, creative thinking, and confidence building.
2. Are you dog trainers?
What Dogs Want is comprised of dog behavior and enrichment experts. We do have some training background but are NOT certified trainers. This is a non-traditional approach to working with your dog; a more holistic, cutting edge way to have fun while building stronger bonds. Our games and activities are not about success or failure, we believe It’s okay for your dog to make a mistake. This is how dogs (and people!) learn. Our games are all about providing opportunity and trying. For both of you! Your dog is able to develop problem solving and conflict resolution skills and you learn more about your dog, his learning style and preferences, and how to help him be successful.
3. How can these activities benefit my dog?
We choose games and activities that focus on teaching a variety of skills and most work several of these skills at once.
Self control is controlling a desire for immediate gratification or resisting an urge. This is important because dogs need to learn they can't always have what they want when they want it.
Body awareness helps dogs navigate in and around their environment, and aids in balance and coordination. It includes spatial awareness, navigation, and motor skills.
Focus helps your dog concentrate and pay attention to what is most relevant in the environment (you!).
Problem solving allows dogs to discover, analyze, and solve problems then find a solution that best resolves the problem.
Creative thinking helps dogs look at something with a fresh perspective and come up with a 'plan B' without being afraid to do so.
4. How do you know this works? What is your experience?
What Dogs Want is staffed with behavior and enrichment specialists who carry degrees in Psychology and Pre-Vet medicine. Collectively, we have more than 40 years of experience working with dogs in a variety of environments including veterinary clinics, shelters, dog day cares and boarding facilities. Five years ago, hoping to help dogs and their people with behavior and enrichment needs, we started an 'enrichment center' in Scottsdale, AZ. Here, we started providing activities to help dogs learn skills, acquire manners and develop closer bonds with their humans. This center was the "proving" ground, validating what we had suspected for years: using games to make learning fun helps dogs learn quicker and retain information better. As people looked at their dogs in a different light-providing opportunities for dogs to figure things out and not always having to be told what to do (like in traditional training) they grew closer to their dogs and had a better understanding of how their dogs think and learn. We are constantly hearing amazing stories from our "parents" at the center- how they see better behavior in their dogs, have more fun with their dogs, and can set them up for success better. The dogs are better socialized and have much more confidence after participating!
5. My dog gets bored with traditional games and finishes them quickly.
If you work alongside your dog on our games, your dog will NOT get bored. Dogs live in the moment and could play the Muffin Tin Game every day for the rest of his life and never become bored. If he finishes a game quickly, this doesn't mean he will not enjoy playing it again! To keep increasing the challenge for your dog, and to incorporate different skills into the activity, we do include several variations of each game (described in the enclosed instructions) and ideas of how to keep the game fresh and novel. You might get bored, but we can almost guarantee that your dog will not! With a little creativity, there are dozens of ways to play every game we send you.
6. My dog doesn’t like those interactive puzzles.
We have chosen activities that are favorites in our enrichment center and can be played by, and are enjoyed by, a wide variety of personalities and skill levels. We want people to sit down with their dog and INTERACT with them. Not just place the game on the ground for the dog to entertain himself with. We want dogs and their people to enjoy time together, having fun with a purpose.
7. My dog destroys most toys I give him.
The purpose of our 'See Spot Think!' box is to provide games and activities for dogs and their people to work on together. They are designed to be interactive. If your dog starts chewing on one of the props, simply stop the game, wait until your dog settles, then continue. Often, dogs destroy games or toys if they are left unsupervised which is not the purpose of our activities. Impulse control is an important lesson for dogs and helps them be more confident, stable, and happy companions.
8. Why did you create What Dogs Want?
Working in animal shelters (some of which have very high euthanasia rates) was a very eye-opening experience for us. While one of our responsibilities was to help increase adoptions, we also wanted to see more focus on pro-active approaches to keep dogs out of shelters in the first place. We knew that many dogs were given up by their families because of "bad behavior" and a lot of this "bad" behavior could be attributed to dogs being under-stimulated in their homes. If there was a fun and easy way for people to work with their dogs, this could create stronger human-canine bonds AND result in better behavior. Many people do not appreciate or are simply unaware of how important it is for dogs to be mentally exercised as much as they are physically exercised. We want What Dogs Want (and the See Spot Think activity box) to be the start of a dog revolution! More fun, positive interactions between dogs and their people! And interactions where the dogs are challenged and allowed to be dogs-having to think or make choices that can help build confidence.
9. I don’t know how to get my dog to interact with the activities.
We know every dog learns differently and has a different temperament. We also know a lot of videos online make it look easy to get your dog to engage in games and figure them out immediately. Because we work with so many different dogs ourselves, we include written and video instruction for several personalities and learning styles. It is also important to remember the goal is to have fun and engage with your dog. If you can get him excited to try, don't worry if he can not figure out how to "solve" the puzzle quickly. If your dog (or you!) are still struggling, we are available for online coaching. Drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call: #480.242.0001.
10. My dog needs to get tired out so that he behaves. I take him for a walk, why do I need See Spot Think?
The activities and games selected for the box provide mental stimulation which is equally important (and often more tiring) than physical stimulation. Dogs need both to be well-adjusted and happy. Have you ever heard the saying that 15 minutes of training exercises (mental stimulation) is more exhausting for a dog than running a mile? Well we can tell you that it's true! If your dog is high-energy or is easily over-stimulated, the included directions discuss ways to incorporate settling skills and self-control into the games. If you need more ideas or help, we are available for online coaching. Drop us an email at: email@example.com or call us at: #480.242.0001