You can easily teach the “find it!” command by hiding tasty treats or a favorite toy behind a door or under an empty box, then encourage the puppy to find it. This helps him learn to use his nose as well as begins to develop his trailing and retrieving instincts. Bounce a ball in the air, (making sure the ball is too large for him to swallow), and encourage him to catch it. Enthusiastically tell him “Good catch! Good boy! Did you catch the ball?” Or hide behind a shrub, tree, door or other place and call him excitedly. When he finds you, get down on your knees and wrestle with him, or play a game of tug-of-war and tell him “good find!” “Did you find me?” When you are sitting on the floor with a toy, hide it between your legs and encourage him to “find it!” Reward him profusely when he does.
When you are playing with a toy or ball, let your puppy win frequently so that he doesn’t reach the point where he doesn’t want to bring the toy or ball back to you. Why should he bring it back to you if you’re just going to immediately take it away from him? Toss the toy, and then run with your puppy to race after it. Pretend to try and get it first, but let him get it. Let him prance around and ‘kill’ it properly before touching the toy. Some indications that you are ‘stealing’ the toy from him too often would be the puppy shutting down, not retrieving, playing catch-me-if-you-can games, or not holding onto the toy.
While you are playing with him, start using different commands for the various behaviors you want to encourage. As an example, when he lies down, tell him “good lie down!” “What a good boy you are!” When he sits voluntarily, make a fuss and tell him “good sit!” “Aren’t you clever?” If he jumps over something, tell him “good over!”
Always be aware of what your pup is doing and where his focus is. If his attention starts to wander, drop to the floor, or if you have a toy in your hand, tap it on the ground. Or, calling his name excitedly and clapping your hands, run away from him. Remember that interactive play should be fun for the dog, but not necessarily for you. Make sure that when your train, you train with passion and direction. Keep it upbeat and fun, and always leave him wanting more so that he looks forward to playing with you again.
You will find many more suggestions in Building Blocks for Performance by Anderson and Libby.