Lulu – Emma’s Thinking Game

Emma’s Thinking Game 🐶 🧠💡‼️

What does your puppy or dog do when you sit down and attempt to get them into working mode?

  • Newbie puppies who aren’t trained yet will hover near you, often staring at or pawing your treat pouch or the pocket where your treats are.
  • Older puppies or adult terriers who were trained with obedience-heavy methods early on will do something similar, they will sit in front of you and stare at you, or even look bored and wander off.

The terrier brain has long been underutilized by people! Can you have a terrier who LOVES working with you, and snaps into action trying to figure out what you are thinking? YES!

I developed this fun game based on the common practice in clicker training called “free shaping.” However, what makes this game different is that we are clicking BEFORE the dog does anything with the object at hand — therefore, we are clicking and rewarding the dog for “thinking about what WE are thinking about.” We are creating a language of “hot!” or “cold” that we can use with our dog. We aren’t expecting any less, or any more.

After a week of practicing this game, you will start to notice that your puppy or dog no longer is spending much time in your “begging zone” (the space about a foot away from you and closer) at all! Now, he or she is working, collecting reward, working, collecting reward. This game also teaches YOU how to observe your dog’s responsiveness and signals.


  • 1-2x per day, 5-15 minutes per session
  • Priority Level: Critical

Items Needed

  1. Clicker
  2. Treats in treat pouch (recommended) or pocket
  3. Object such as: a box, fabric grocery bag, folded up tarp, plastic storage box lid (anything your pup won’t chew and that is not already valuable to them)


  • Go Get It! — When you toss the treat away
  • YES! – The clicker is the most important marker, but do say “YES!” too

The Game

  1. Chose a low-distraction, open area of the house — or a smaller space that is freed of distractions, such as your bathroom!
  2. Chose a time when you are focused, yourself.
  3. Have your clicker ready.
  4. Don’t touch the treat pouch unless you are getting a treat.
  5. Grab the object and sit on the floor. Toss it about 4-6 feet away from you. Don’t prompt your pup.
  6. The SECOND your pup so much as looks at it, CLICK, say “YES!” and toss a treat at least 4 feet away from both you and the object, saying “Go get it!”
  7. Repeat