It's official; the annual Summer Parks Challenge 2019 has begun on May 1 and will run all the way through the end of summer!
Training in novel locations is so so so helpful! You can add distractions, you can increase difficulty, you can practice in real-life settings and more. And with the part of Oregon that we're so lucky to live in, you've got lots of cool places to choose from!
Here's the assignment: Pick a pack. It could be an easy park, a hard park, big or small, in Portland or wherever.
K-9 Prodigy Cyber Rally Club was started earlier
this summer to provide both current and former clients a fun, free
extra-curricular training activity. It’s also intended to bridge the gap
between private training, where the distraction level is specifically
tailored to each dogs needs, and group training, which features its own
distractions (mainly via lots of other dogs and handlers.) Now you can
Cyber Rally is a dog obedience sport that’s
video-based; generally you download courses from the official website,
video you and your dog working through them, and then submit the videos
for qualifications, titles and ribbons!
Once your dog has received basic training, great!
You have put a lot of time into training your dog. He’s functioning at a
high level. You’re having a great time taking him out and about and
doing all kinds of fun things together. Your friends and neighbors are
jealous. Everything looks great.
As the months go by, however, there’s a little
slip here and a little blip there. Your dogs once good leash-walking
skills are now “usually” good leash-walking, but sometimes he pulls
towards things he really wants.
I’m experimenting with a new system for homework –
one of the things that gets tough for more advanced dogs is just
keeping track of everything you need to practice. It’s easy to practice
the things that are easy and fun, but harder to remember to practice
things that are more of a challenge. And what about the things your dog
learned two months ago, but you haven’t really made use of; is he going
to forget all of those?
I tried making some flashcards for my own dog
Halo, and so far so good.
A lot of you are working on loose leash walking! Gotta
admit that the KP system for training this is a little complex. But it
is absolutely worth it!! There are lots of different methods for
training leash walking, and trust me, I have tried them all. In the end
I’ve come up with what I believe has the very best results.
Here’s a reminder/list of terms/concepts that go along with the official KP loose-leash walking!
“Here”:Verbal cue for your dog to get into
walking position (on your left side.
Here is just a quick tutorial/reminder of how you are to practice that "recall to hand" thing. The collar-to-hand target thing can take a while for people to master, but once they get it I've never had a student to back to any other recall method! The dogs seem to thrive on having a target to run to.
One more doorway protocol, but this one is for service dogs!
The first two options for showing your dog what to do when visitors came over culminated with the dog getting to greet and interact with the visitors -- the ultimate reward for polite manners and waiting.
For service dogs in training, it's usually best to practice having them *not* greet the person. Service dogs do not always get to greet the people.
If you have a service dog in training, it is really best if someone else can answer the door while you keep the dog leashed and with you, reinforcing check-ins and calmness. If you do not have anyone else to open the door for you, then just unlock it for your visitor, say "come in!" and move the dog away from the door (to whatever distance it's currently working at, so that it's most likely to be successful.) It's a good training practice to have your service dog in training on-leash during the entire visit.
Yesterday we talked about the "official" way I'd like our training sessions to go when I arrive. Controlled greetings around visitors (especially "exciting" visitors) are so important to practice with your dog, no matter what he/she is in training for!
Yesterday's information was geared towards those of you who'd like to have your dog sit or down-stay as the visitor came in. Today's information will be geared towards those of you who don't care what your dog is doing (no specific position or stay required) but just don't want the dog jumping up or being obnoxious when the visitor comes in.
For most clients, "visitor manners" (what the dog does when a visitor or guest comes in through your front door) are a big goal. And every time I show up at your house, it's a golden opportunity to practice! (Especially since I'm an "exciting" visitor, coming over with lots of treats and fun activities.)
So I'm putting together a more-or-less "standardized" visitor greeting routine which we can follow every time I come over, and that will give your dog so much practice!