Fall is a beautiful season, and winter weather follows in the not too distant future. Many people do not know what to do to keep their dogs active when conditions are not great to do outdoor activities. Luckily, there are things we can do with our dog when stuck inside.
What is it that "play training" can add to your partner and canine team (Part 4 of Play Training Series)
Why should someone consider adding play training to their dog training routine? I say add, because I am never just play training. For instance, if I am on a busy city street and we have some training to do, I probably am not going to use my flirt pole, frisbee, or ball to start a training session. I may use food as play or just as a standard reward. I may also use to do a subtle form of traditional training or management. So for those reasons, I don't believe you can get away with just play training your dog, although I would not have a problem with it if I could figure out how!
So then the question is, why add play training in?
This is Shana demonstrating some impulse control while we play and food train. Sometimes I use just food reward or just toy reward. In this instance, I am using both food and toy. Shana's impulse is to rip the toy apart right before my eyes OR not give it up at all. Impulse control is when the dog is not doing something that they would like to do in the moment. When you are using play, they are controlling their impulse because they want the game to go on, instead of being corrected in more traditional training methods.
Note: Our next blog will go over what play training provides for you that is different than traditional dog training, and why you might want to use it.
Play training focuses on the reward of play for engagement, enthusiasm, and motivation of the tasks, obedience, behavioral change, and relationship being formed. It sounds easy, right? The dog does this, and then we go and do that. The knowledge of the impending reward of continuing the game increases the likely hood of the behavior and/or performance that you want. In theory, it is easy. In practice, you can make mistakes that I would rather others avoid if possible.
Leon loved fetching as a wee young thing. We both learned about this skill together, and had a lot of fun doing it.
What do I mean by your dog's "bliss"?
Dog Activity Tip: As summer approaches, take advantage of all the outside fun. Just please don't forget that the increase in heat takes your dogs longer to get used to, especially black dogs or dense haired dogs. Also, be sure to check that the pavement or concrete is not too hot for your dog's pads. Plenty of water should always be available, but especially so during heavy play or other activity in the summer months.
Biking is not an activity that dog owners "need" to do or "have to" learn. This is something that I do with my dogs for the enjoyment. However, if you don't do this safely, it will be a much less enjoyable activity. This activity needs to be safe for you AND your dog.
So before you even think of biking with your dogs, consider these tips and safety measures:
I am sure that I missed a lot more, but these are things to think about before even considering biking with your dog:) One can always bike without a leash with their well trained dog in a safe and known environment. I always have a leash on my dog whenever I am around vehicles that are moving quickly. When I am riding around my house, my dogs don't have leashes on, and are free to decide to follow or not follow. Many times I don't have them in a heel if it's just on my own property. Still, you will want to start out so that your dogs are aware that they shouldn't run into wheels, jump on you, et. I probably could have added a few more for this scenario.
Interested in doing this with your dog? Call or e-mail us, and we will set up a program for you.
Author, Robin Rubin
Owner and Head Dog Trainer in Maine, Robin Katherine Rubin, started her Maine dog training business in September 2004. Our dog training facility is located in Southern Maine in York Beach and we help families enjoy their dogs more, making sure they listen reliably and resolving unwanted behaviors.