5 Fun Ways To Use The Clam
The Clam is the most popular toy we’ve ever created. We’ve sold thousands to dog owners across the globe who love the magical way it lets you conceal treats inside, ready to be used as a reward at the perfect moment during training.
We initially created The Clam as a distance reward to drive dogs forward and maintain focus during agility training. The Clam means you can instantly reward your dog from a distance as you throw it and your dog helps themselves to the yumminess inside - no more waiting until they get all the way back to you for a treat!
However, the real beauty of The Clam is its versatility. It’s a fantastic agility training toy, but it can also be successfully used for everything from enriching mealtimes to scentwork, making it an essential element of your dog training toolkit.
If you’re the proud owner of a Clam, here are five fun ways to use it…
To play hide and seek
The Clam is perfect for playing hide and seek with your dog, as part of scentwork training or just as a handy idea for enriching days at home with your dog, especially if its particularly hot or cold outside or if your dog is recovering from injury.
The secret with teach this game is to fill your Clam with some really smelly, delicious treats (dried sprats work really well or our Grain-Free Fish Treats). Don’t worry, your Clam can be popped in the washing machine on a cool cycle so it won’t smell of fish forever!
Make it easy to begin with. Hide The Clam under a cushion on your living room floor and heap praise when your dog discovers it. Gradually work on hiding the Clam in trickier places - but always keep it positive and follow your dog’s lead.
To build confidence
New, unfamiliar sounds can be troubling for some dogs, especially puppies and rescue dogs.
To add novelty and build your dog’s confidence around ‘new’ noises, fill a box with ‘noisy’ materials and hide a filled Clam within then encourage them to find it. These could include crumpled paper, empty containers filled with pebbles, empty milk cartons and left over plastic packaging.
This can help your dog adapt well to unfamiliar situations and build overall confidence.
To teach retrieve
A game of fetch is a fun game that seems to come naturally to lots of dogs, but needs working on with others. If you want to help your dog learn to fetch, The Clam is a great tool.
The key here is to show your dog that you are putting a yummy treat inside and let them have a sniff. Throw it a short distance and call them back to you. When they get to you, let them open The Clam and enjoy the treats inside (if they already know how The Clam works and help themselves to the treats before this, that is ok too!).
In time, they will learn that they need to bring The Clam back to you to get it refilled. Adding in a verbal ‘fetch’ or ‘bring it’ cue can help when it comes time to try fetch with a ball or other toy.
To enrich mealtimes
Ditching the food bowl and giving your dog their meals in different ways is a fantastic way to enrich your dog’s daily life. Scatter feeding can work well, but what’s even better is to get your dog to work for its supper by hiding it within The Clam and letting them sniff it out.
According to enrichment experts, just 20 minutes of sniffing work is equivalent in terms of stimulation to an hour’s walk. Start by hiding The Clam in easy-to-find places (as described in idea two, above) and work up to more difficult challenges.
To improve recall
But variety is the spice of life after all (and will keep your dog from getting bored and losing focus) so The Clam is a fantastic aid for rewarding recall. Just fill with your dog’s favourite treats and throw a short distance from you when they return while offering verbal praise.
The Clam fits perfectly in your pocket so is the ideal addition to our collection of recall-boosting training toys.
What’s your favourite way to use the Clam? Let us know in the comments.