Hey everyone, Amanda again. Here to talk about what we train when you opt for our Board In Programs.
If you’re having a specific issue, of course we will address those first and foremost, otherwise, this is what we usually start with.
We’re going to assume the dog I am talking about is over 8 months old and very much into adolescence, or the “teenage years”. With puppies, we use purely motivational or “all positive” techniques. With these teenaged dogs, we see a lot of the “I don’t wanna” or “I don’t have to” – that’s where corrective training is your friend. Yes, motivation is a good place to start, but especially with higher drive or higher intelligence in dogs, they will learn what they can and cannot get away with. Dogs will also learn who they can play and who they have to obey.
Tools: Hot Dogs, Leather Leash, Prong Collar, Dogtra Electric Collar
Leash Manners: I can’t tell you how important everything is transferred once we teach respect down the leash. A dog that is dragging you, sniffing everything, blowing off every command, running up to other dogs, or barking at passing people is a dog left to his own devices. Yes, you may have him leashed but are you really in control, or a leadership position? I expect all my leashed dogs to walk right beside me, not sniffing anything, not greeting anyone unless I tell him to, and most of all I want him to be RELAXED! Not concerned, not “excited” (worked up), not possessive (barking). We use a prong collar and hot dogs to show the dog the right and wrong way to walk on a leash. We’re going for a WALK! Also, walking in “heel” position is one of the most exhausting things to do. Not just the physical excursion, but the mental aspect as well. I teach the dog how to follow me; left turns, right turns, walking, jogging, stopping, about turns. The dog has to follow my every move and pay attention to it. Its hard work! A dog that is “with me” is a dog I have control over, a dog that is following me and looking to me for guidance or leadership. This is taught with either of our Board In Programs. I teach off leash heeling in my Two Week Program.
Heel Position: I teach dogs who to come into heel in either program. The dog approaches, and sits at my left side before strutting off into the sun set.
Down means Down: I was going to use “sit mean sit” but that’s also associated with a company I am not. Anyways, this applies to sit as well, and I often train this with pet dogs as a “sit” since that appeals to most people. I use down as it’s a more comfortable position for a dog to stay in. Essentially this command is a two-in-one, “down” and “stay”. Stay is extra. Down in black & white. I figure, why not go all the way? Instead of the dog getting up after I say the command, the dog should stay in position until I say otherwise! Down is also lifesaving, I’ve had my personal dogs out on my property, off leash, and they see some critter they NEED. Zoom! They take off towards the neighbor’s house, who doesn’t like dogs. I yell “DOWN!” and my dog is conditioned to drop down and stay there until I say otherwise. Of course, that takes a fair amount of consistency, but it’s definitely achievable. Used to teach this is hot dogs and a collar (either corrective or a regular flat collar) – so the dog learns the initially behavior is greeted with food but once they have learned the command consequence comes in, showing them they have to. I teach both in my Two Week Program but often opt for just one of these with my One Week Program.
Recall: Come when called. I used food to show them when they get to me, it’s worth it. Once they are conditioned, I used a long line and maybe a prong collar to show them the consequence for not coming in my One Week Program. The dog is still rewarded with food when they return, to show that blowing off the command sucks but coming back to me rules! In my Two Week Program, we do this Off Leash with food and an E Collar. We don’t do Off Leash in the One Week Program (unless it’s the focus of the single week) because I like to have more time with the above training. This stuff is tough for them, and I have a small window of bonding to do with your four legged friend.
This may not seem like a vast list of tricks or complicated behaviors, but this is what we teach. I like to send my client dogs home being able to pass your basic Canine Good Citizen Test. Unless out rightly aggressive or unsound, every dog should be able to pass a CGC, and it’s a good thing to have. It also helps you as the handler/owner, you should be able to perform with your dog!
I hope you enjoyed, tune in on Monday 7-10-17 as we have an exciting announcement to make!