BIG SKY DOG TRAINING

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How to Walk The Excited Dog – Five Things to Dog Before You Head Out the Door

Re-print from Whole Dog Journal, 10/26/2019


You contemplate taking your dog for a walk with mixed emotions. You love the idea of going for a stroll through the neighborhood together, but it’s a major hassle to get out the door. When you pick up his leash he becomes the Tasmanian Devil – body slamming you, racing around the foyer, and bouncing off the glass door with such intensity you’re afraid he’ll crash right through it. Here are five suggestions for creating the enjoyable outing you dream of.


(1) Exercise first. Spend 15-20 minutes tossing a ball for your dog in the backyard, or providing intense mental exercise with a heavy duty shaping session. You’ll take the edge off his excitement, reduce his energy level, and make leashing-up and walking more relaxed and enjoyable for both of you.

(2) Teach him to “Say please.” Reinforce your dog’s “sit” behavior so thoroughly that “sit” becomes his default behavior – the behavior he chooses to offer when he doesn’t know what else to do. Then wait for him to sit (say “please”) to make all good things happen: sit for his dinner bowl; sit to be petted; sit for you to throw his ball; sit to have his leash put on; and sit to make the door open.

(3) Pick up his leash throughout the day. He gets amped up when you touch his leash because it always means the two of you are going for a walk. Of course he gets excited! If you pick up his leash numerous times throughout the day, sometimes
draping it over your neck and wearing it for a while, sometimes carrying it from room to room, sometimes picking it up and putting it back down, sometimes clipping it on his collar and then unclipping it, the leash will no longer be a reliable predictor of walks, and he won’t have any reason to get all excited about it. Note: This will take a while. Hope springs eternal in the canine heart.

(4) Use negative punishment. No, we don’t mean a bonk on the head. It means setting up the situation so that doing the behavior you don’t want causes a good thing to go away. Here’s how it would work in this case: If, when you pick up the leash, he goes bonkers (the behavior you don’t want), say “Oops!” in a cheerful tone of voice (what’s known as a “no reward marker,” it simply tells him no reward is forthcoming), set the leash down, and walk away. When he settles down, pick the leash up again. If he sits (say please!), proceed with attaching the leash and going for a walk. If he winds up again, do another “Oops!” and set the leash down. You’re teaching him that getting excited makes the opportunity for a walk go away; staying calm makes walks happen.

(5) Reduce the significance of other “walk cues.” Other things you do as part of your walk preparation routine can also feed his energy – getting out treats, putting on your jacket, grabbing your cell phone and keys . . . The more you randomize your ritual, the less these steps contribute to his growing excitement over the pending event, and the calmer he’ll stay as you leash him and walk out the door. For example, put your keys and cell phone in your jacket pocket before you eat breakfast. Happy walking!

For more tips on turning your dog into a more pleasant walking companion, check out Whole Dog Journal’s Walking Your Dog ebook.


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Big Sky Course Curriculum

Big Sky Course Curriculum

10/1/2019 / 847-997-4707

 

Class One:

·       Group dog meet and greet on lead – Each Class

·       Check Equipment

·       Target Touch Game

·       Marker Word discussion

·       Types of rewards & Release & Time outs

·       Puppy Come Game (Recall)

·       Sit, attention & Focus exercises

·       Wait at door on the way out

·       Socialization with people and dogs

·       Grooming, health & Nutrition

·       Importance of Play in training

Class Two:

·       Walk a straight line – loose leash walking

·       Touch and recall to a reverse

·       Down (drop) and Down/Stay

·       Sit and Sit/Stay (2 person stay)

·       Leash corrections – using half-halts

·       Leave it / Drop it

·       Sit and Sit/Stay

·       Automatic Sit

·       Down and Down Stay

 

Class Three:

·       Recall from group (each class forward)

·       Down/stay 6 ft. leash with distractions

·       Side Sit Command

·       Auto Sit

·       Down Stay (0-6 ft out with 360 turn around)

·       One dog recall

·       Leave it – with foot / with bowl

·       Wait at door, in car, stairs, etc.

·       Put collar/harness/leash on dog while calm

Class Four: (Bring towel or dog bed)

·       Long Line recall exercises

·       Puppy come/Recall from Group

·       One dog recall between 2 dogs from distance

·       Go to mat/place

·       Walk through a crowd of dogs and owners

·       Add distraction during exercises

·       Tap and recall (reverse)

·       Stand for appearance and grooming

 

 

Class Five:

·       Two dog recall no distraction

·       Retrieve Game

·       Meet and great with a friendly stranger

·       Dog Comes when called – no distraction

·       Automatic Sit

·       Sit & Down Stay at a distance

·       Dog walk on loose leash

 

Class Six:

·       Dog(s) comes when called – with distraction

·       Reaction to another dog during a sit

·       Sit & Down Stay – under control

·       Go to commands

·       Wheel Chair exercises

·       Retrieve Game

·       Go to your mat

·       Certificates

 

 

  • If you have any additional commands or issues you want to work on, please bring them up to the trainer.
  • All Canine Good Citizen classes are available. Ask the trainer to schedule with you.


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Teaching A Puppy or Dog To Stay

Often, teaching a dog to stay in one spot is critical to his safety and might be used in combination with other commands. They are undoubtedly several ways to accomplish a stay. This is just one of the methods that has been successful for many of the dogs and puppies I have worked with.

Pre-work –

Your puppy should have started attention and focus on you.

Your puppy should know how to sit. – However if the dog stands during the stay command, it is okay.

Let’s start with 2 people. One person will hold the dog on a leash with the puppy at their side, this person is called “the Tree.” They do not talk, move or interact with the puppy. The second person is called “the Trainer.” This person is going to walk up to the puppy and ask them to sit (facing the puppy). They can use a treat or toy and hold it at their chin to keep the puppy focused on them. The other hand will be straight out with the palm facing the dog, in a stop sign fashion. The trainer will ask the puppy to stay. They can use the puppy’s name just this one time, i.e., “Spot, stay.”

The “Tree” person is still standing facing the trainer and has taken the slack out of the leash, but not holding the leash too tight, just enough so there is no loose leash. Again, they say and do nothing but hold the puppy in one place.

The trainer then walks backward away from the puppy for a few steps, and repeats the word “stay” to the puppy without using the puppy’s name. The use of the word “Stay” is teaching the dog the English word and the hand signal is teaching the dog a non-verbal signal. After the trainer walks back a couple of steps, they then walk directly back to the puppy. If the puppy stands up when you walk back, just re-ask the puppy to sit. Mark the good behavior with a verbal “Yes” then reward the puppy with the treat, if used.

Note: Do not say the puppy’s name while you are asking the puppy to perform a stay. By using the name during a stationary exercise the puppy might think you are going to ask another command or exercise.

As you work on this exercise, continue to lengthen the distance you move away from the puppy, however always remember, you must go back to the puppy. DO NOT call a puppy or dog from a STAY. Stay means, stay they until I come back and get you. If you want to work on recall, use the word “Wait” instead of “Stay” and do not do the exercised during the same training session. By doing them at the same time, the puppy will get confused!

When you are ready to move to a one person Stay, put your thumb through the handle of the 6 foot leash and hold your hand in a stop sign position. Take the treat or reward in the other hand and hold at your chin. Ask you puppy to sit and then Stay. Take one step back and one step forward, mark the behavior, then treat/reward. Then repeat the exercise moving further and further back. Eventually you can use a long line and move the exercise outside, which holds more distractions.

Remember, if the puppy is failing, back up a step or two and/or lower the distractions.

5 Types of Rewards; treats, touch, loose leash, play, voice.

 

Call or e-mail if you have any questions, good luck

Montana C. Hayes

847-997-4707

montana@bigskydogtraining.com