In the last blog, we discussed the place command. The stay command, specifically, is a command that you can is part of a sit, down, or stand command. This is where you want your dog to stay in a certain position anywhere that you are.
The place command is one of the first things I start to teach with many dogs. This command combines a send away, a stay, a stay within a barrier, impulse control and calming exercise all in one. Additionally, this can be the very start on walking on leash with a puppy or dog. Some dog owners and trainers may only utilize the stay portion, but I feel the send away portion is very valuable as time goes on. Let me explain a little bit about this very useful exercise.
As I write this, the new training dogs coming in have been frequent now, and our business is heating back up for the summer. This is a really stressful time for Shana at home as always. Being a dog trainer's dog is not fun for all dogs. At the same time, we have been working regularly on Shana's impulse control and reactivity around other dogs. She has been doing really well, but today she has clearly had enough of this. We are currently in the Middle of Week 6 on a Thursday. I haven't taken many videos, so I am going to go over what we have been doing to date.
What is it that "play training" can add to your partner and canine team (Part 4 of 4 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?
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.
On Sundays, I am going to try to blog and post (on our Facebook page) Shana's training progress. Normally I am training Shana because:
This fall though, we are taking a trip to Boston, and staying in a very fun dog friendly hotel across from Fenway Park. Shana has only been to a city a few times in her life. City distractions are very different than the distractions she sees in a small town (and some of those still can scare her or put her on defense drive). So now I have a specific goal that I am training for.
Do you find your dog to be timid or fearful around things that don't scare most other dogs? If you have also wondered about the reasons this can happen, there are a few as follows:
1) Puppies not socialized or handled by breeders. Usually these guys recover very well, but they may present as very fearful at the beginning.
2) Adult dogs that have grown up without proper socialization and exposure to the outside world.
3) Puppies that have experienced a traumatic or very scary experience during the fear stage.
4) Adult dogs that experienced Number 3 during the puppy fear stage, but their owners did not realize it or did not work with their dog in the meantime. Often owners might think something like this will pass, but for many dogs it just gets worse unless they are helped along the way.
5) Traumatic experience as an adult dog. (As an example my first dog got to experience a microburst at night with us one evening. All our screens on the windows blew in, and the power was instantly out. After that, Jazzabelle was very afraid of any thunder and wind storms, which we helped her with later.)
6) Incident that may have happened that you did not see happen.
7) It could be that a medical reason, like loss of hearing, is causing them some distress. In case of sudden behavioral change, you should make an appointment with your vet.
8) So many more possibilities may exist that caused this.
9) You may never know the cause.
Bottom line is that you have to move your dog forward. They may not fully recover, but you can greatly improve their lives and their thoughts on the trigger (thing that scares them).
Today I am going to go over the very commonly used practices of treat training used with luring to train your dog. Most of this training falls under the category of positive reinforcement. That is the practice of adding something to increase the likely hood of a behavior. In this case, we are talking about food rewards.
CONSIDERATIONS WHEN TRAINING WITH FOOD:
Most puppy training starts with food training. Puppies are maturing, and do not have the focus of an adult dog. They are discovering the world with their paws, nose, eyes, and mouth. Therefore, humans need a good reward method to catch their attention for any period of time.
Adult dogs will have more maturity and focus (usually). Therefore, the first section does not necessarily apply to them. Although, these are things you may want to consider, especially if your adult dog seems at all flat when training. Both young and old dogs need a distraction free place to start learning at first.
Dog owners tend to wince at the suggestion of using a correction. So many dog owners associate the word "correction" in dog training with punishment or treating their dog harshly. This is not what is meant by most dog trainers or dog sports enthusiasts.
My definition of a dog training correction is to further advance a position, speed, or behavior through communication the dog understands to mean what they had just done is not what was wanted and therefore offers another option or stops something. Some examples of corrections are verbal markers, spatial pressure, and the use of some training equipment. Please note that corrections should not be used, generally speaking, until the dog has started and advanced through the first stages of dog training, which is teaching. Once a performance can be reliably predicted to a standard, then you are ready to correct errors or non performance.
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.