In this issue:
Behavior Training Group Classes
Board and Train
Our Group Classes Schedule
No Choke Challenge
Canine Life and Social Skills
Rules for Training and Rehabilitation
Emergency Sit / Stay
Ask The Trainer at Tucson Cold Wet Noses Rescue
Emergency Sit / Stay
A commonly asked question is what do you do if a loose dogs comes up to you while your walking your dog reactive dog. One option is the emergency sit stay, where you ask your dog to sit and stay while you deal with the loose dog...and I trust her that it works, BUT you do need to keep in mind that it's NOT something you can do out of the blue with a reactive dog. it's something that has to be trained for.
With a little practice you can develop and absolutely rock-solid, long-distance, sit-stay that can save you from most dangerous or embarrassing situations your dog could get into. The secret to off-leash control is to thoroughly integrate fun training into all of your dog's off-leash activities. Total integration of training and play should be your aim from the very start. Interrupt your dog's off-leash activities every minute or so. Every time you interrupt an enjoyable activity by instructing your dog to sit, for example, and then allow him to resume the activity, you are reinforcing the dog's prompt sit with a powerful reward. The more you interrupt your dog's play, the more you may reward him for sitting promptly.
First practice the following exercises in safe, enclosed areas. This can be when your dog is off-leash in your house or yard, when he is playing in dog classes, during dog parties, or when off-leash in dog parks.
1. Every minute or so, run up to your dog and take him by the collar. Praise the pup, offer a tasty food treat, and then tell him to go play again. At first try this in a fairly small area, such as your kitchen with no other distractions. Then try it with just one other dog present. If you have difficulty catching your pup, have the other owner grab hers at the same time. Then try with a couple of other puppies present. Gradually increase the number of puppies and size of the area until your dog is easy to catch when playing, for example, in your fenced yard. Use freeze-dried liver treats during this first exercise so your pup quickly comes to love having his collar grabbed.
2. Once your dog is easy to catch, dry kibble will suffice. Now, instruct your dog to sit each time after you take him by the collar. Use the food to lure the dog into a sitting position, praise the pup as soon as he sits, offer the piece of kibble as reward, and then tell him to go play.
3. By now your dog should feel completely at ease with your running up to reach for his collar. In fact, he probably looks forward to it, knowing he will receive a food reward before resuming play. You may find your dog sits in anticipation of the food reward. This is good, because the next step is to instruct your dog to sit before you reach for his collar. Run up to your dog and waggle a piece of kibble under his nose, and once the dog homes in on the food, use it as a lure to entice him to sit. Praise your dog as soon as he sits, offer the kibble as a reward, and tell the dog to go play.
It is vital that you do not touch the dog before he sits. Some owners are impatient and physically sit the dog down. If you have to rely on physical contact to get your dog to sit, you'll never have reliable off-leash distance control. If you are experiencing difficulties, go back to using freeze-dried liver.
4. Now that your dog sits promptly as you approach, you can teach him to sit from a distance. Again try this exercise around the house without distractions before trying it with other puppies present. Sit in a chair and without moving a muscle, calmly and quietly say, "dog, Sit." Wait a second, then rush toward the dog saying, "Sit! Sit! Sit!" in an urgent tone but without shouting. Praise your dog the moment he sits, take him by the collar and let him sniff the kibble. Then quickly take one step backwards, and instruct your dog to “Come” and “Sit.” If your dog sits promptly, offer the piece of kibble as reward and then let him resume playing. As you repeat this over and over again, you'll discover that fewer and fewer repetitions of the instruction to sit are necessary before your dog complies. Also, with repeated trials your dog sits sooner and sooner and with you farther and farther away. Eventually your dog will sit promptly at a distance following a single softly spoken request.
From now on, whenever your dog is off-leash, repeatedly and frequently interrupt his activity with numerous short training interludes. Ninety percent of the training interludes should be as short as one second. Tell your dog to sit and then immediately say, "Go play." Your dog's quick sit is proof that you have control, so you needn't push it. You needn't prolong the sit stay. Instead, quickly tell your dog to go play so as to reinforce the quick sit. In one out of ten training interludes practice something a little different. Once your dog sits, instruct him to sit-stay or to down-stay. Or walk up to your dog and take him by the collar before telling him to resume playing.
From Feisty Fido by Dr Patricia McConnell
“Everyone with a leash reactive dog has the same nightmare: While you are out politely walking your dog, 3 unleashed dogs come tearing down the block straight at you. Usually this is accompanied by a hale and hearty wave from the dog’s [irresponsible] owner who yells: ‘It’s Okaay, they LOVE other dogs.’ But you don’t have time to respond because you are too busy having a heart attack… When you see a loose dog..instantly put your dog in a sit/stay by your side and one step behind you….then stride one step forward and command the approaching goofball to sit. Amazingly, he probably will. Depending on the dog, you either tell him to stay where he is, or your toss treats behind him, and then you and your dog slide off in the other direction.”
Board and Train
Board and Train is an effective, practical training method for most dogs.
Your dog will receive 4–6 training sessions of 10–20 minutes duration on a daily basis while he stays with us. These short sessions will keep his attention and ensure his participation. A thorough, individualized training plan is tailored to every dog. By utilizing positive methods only, your dog will look forward to “training”. Lots of exercise and play will also be provided, in an amount that is appropriate to your dog’s breed and age.
After completing the program, you will be so proud of your dog’s good manners! In a private session of 1–2 hours we will provide you with the information you need to continue and reinforce your dog’s training at home.
To help us formulate a plan especially for your dog, fill out and submit our Board and Train Questionnaire and our Training Contract and we will verify availability. Remember that only 1 dog at a time is admitted to this program. Payment reserves your dog’s place.
Drop-offs and pick-ups are scheduled by appointment. Arrangements can also be made to pick up your dog at the airport.
Rates for Board and Train:
A three week package includes all basic household “Good Manners”, including sit, sit/stay, down, down/stay, a solid, reliable come, leave it, and loose leash walking.
A four week package polishes the above behaviors and further customizes your package. We can even throw in a trick or two.
Board and Train rate is $300 per week.
Because training is an ongoing process, we will not guarantee behaviors. But we will guarantee that you go home with a well mannered dog who has earned both his Canine Good Citizen certificate and his Bachelor's in Canine Life and Social Skills. You will also go home with the tools to maintain your dog's good manners.
Rules for Training and Rehabilitation
Trust your gut
Don’t be afraid, just do it.
Don’t be afraid to say no to your trainer, to well meaning neighbors, friends and family and to yourself when you feel things just aren't right.
Be aware of how much work the trainer is doing with your dog as opposed to how much you are doing, do you wnat your dog bonded to you or the trainer? listening to you or the trainer?
Control the mind to control the head.
Control the head to control the body.
Control the situation and environment to control what the dog learns.
You must be physically and mentally comfortable to teach.
The dog must be physically and mentally comfortable to learn.
Be aware of your own tendency to blame.
Be aware of your own tendency to punish.
Never allow other people to set your priorities.
Training should be a contract between you and the dog. You get what you want, then the dog gets what she wants.
Control the resources or sell the dog and take up knitting.
It isn't about whispering. It's about speaking clearly with your body and mind, and then listening to the answers.
Teach the animal to target.
It is not your job to control the animal. It is the animal's job to control herself.
It is your job to put the animal in a situation where she can learn what I want her to know as quickly and easily as possible.
Rewards are defined by the student, not the teacher.
Learning is defined by the student, not the teacher.
Work where the animal is, not where you expect her to be or where she "should" be.
If this animal is mine, I am the one who is responsible for what happens to her.
If this animal is mine, I am the one who is in charge of what happens to her.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Nobody loves a .
Self-control reduces fear and stress.
Work for five minutes, then quit. Leave the animal interested in you coming back.
The leash is to keep the animal from getting hit by a truck, not to control, punish or teach.
Plan once, train twice. Or plan twice, train once. The choice is yours.
Keep records that will mean something to you.
Break it down. The smaller the behaviour you're teaching, the greater your chance of success.
WHY is not nearly as important as WHAT. Teach yourself to see what the dog is doing rather than worrying about why he does it.
WHY is not nearly as important as HOW. Teach yourself to see how the dog is being rewarded for a behaviour you don't want. Then you’ll be able to see how to stop the behaviour.
Give the animal a chance to think.
Explain clearly and then let her sleep on it.
Look for the startle.
“My dog won’t...” and “My dog can’t...” should be followed either by an alarm bell or a training plan.
Never go for duration with a really hungry puppy.
It's all tricks, relax.
Sit back and enjoy the ride.
Seize The Leash - Newsletter Vol. 3 Issue 7
No Choke Challenge
New program that many trainers and shelters around the country and the world are doing. Turn these items in for the following discounts:
Choke chains - receive $10 off training package
Prong collars - receive $15 off training package
Shock/remote/e collars - receive $50 off training package
contact us for details!!
Behavior Training Group Classes
Our schedule of classes has been a resounding success, so we will be continuing with 6 week classes. We will have a 9am and 6pm class daily except Monday.
The cost is $120.00 for each 6 week class. A discounted rate of $108 is offered for those who adopt a rescue from TCWN, HOPE Animal Shelter, Arizona Desert Rotti's and Pals, Arizona Poodle Rescue or Southwest Arizona Airedale Rescue within 30 days of the adoption.
Fill out our Training Services form and get started today!!
Group Behavior Training -Rehabilitating the Reactive or Aggressive Dog
SATURDAY at 9am Sign Up Here
SUNDAY at 6pmy Sign Up Here
Life Without A Leash: Righteous Recalls
FRIDAY at 9am y - Sign Up Here
Puppy Basics - AKC STAR Puppy
TUESDAY morning 9am, THURSDAY evening 6pm
This 6 week program includes the AKC STAR Puppy evaluation and certification Sign Up Here
Out of Control! Surviving Adolescence & Implementing Leadership
WEDNESDAY 9am and FRIDAY 6pm - Sign Up Here
Shy Dog Workshop
WEDNESDAY, 6pm. - Sign Up Here
THURSDAY at 9am . - Sign Up Here
APDT Canine Life and Social Skills Program
SATURDAY at 6pm or SUNDAY at 9am. - Sign Up Here
Please feel free to contact us at any time for more information, class schedules or just questions about your dog. We can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 727-686-4246 or 520-751-7772.
Canine Life and Social Skills (C.L.A.S.S.)
There are 1000 ways of teaching your dog obedience. You can use a clicker, an e-collar, leash corrections, pushing the dog around, food lures, etc. There are also 1000 ways of dealing with the behaviors your dog does that don't quite fit into your world.
We've started a new program here at Seize The Leash called C.L.A.S.S. which stands for Canine Life and Social Skills. This is a program that has been developed by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. In reviewing the program before becoming an evaluator, I wanted to see what methods of training were recommended and what the goals of this program are. There was so much about this program that fit with my views of behavior and training, that I couldn't pass up the chance to use it.
This program revolves around play training. There are over 100 games involved in teaching the skills required to pass the three levels of testing (BA, MA and PhD). Each game is so much more then just a game, it's Real Life Set-up. Games such as Pizza Delivery, Bagel Recall, Theme Parties, Do You Really Know Sit, etc. Each games has one or two specific skills it teaches and strengthens. Each games uses a part of the human world as a distraction or a teaching tool. This is the stuff of magic.
I already use games in my classes, especially Reactive Dog, Shy Dog, Righteous Recalls and Out Of Control class. No one walks away at the end of the hour without having learned something new and improving someting they learned in a previous lesson. And everyone has fun, including the dogs. The dogs get desensitized without boring repetitions of encouraging calming signals or trying to stay under threshold. The dogs get counter conditioned without the humans even realizing it's happening.
Think outside the box, don't limit yourself to someone else's idea of what the solution to your dog behavior problem should be. There are 1000's of ways to solve problems, to calm a dog, to desensitize a dog, to redirect a dog, to teach a dog. Setting limitations can set you and you dog up to fail. Be creative, think outside the box.
keep your dog from learning. If you have an aggressive dog and your become afraid of going anywhere, doing anything with your dog, playing even the simplest games with your dog or allowing your dog to have any social interaction at all, that aggression will never abate. Your fear will keep in in place.
And remember, no matter what method of training / teaching / conditioning you use with your dog, your results will only be as good as YOUR committment, focus and persistence.
C.L.A.S.S. is an educational
program designed to promote training focusing on the use of positive
reinforcement and to strengthen relationships between humans and their canine
companions. The mission of C.L.A.S.S. is to promote positive relationships
through positive training methods. This approach both develops and safeguards
harmonious relationships by maintaining trust and mutual respect.
To learn more about
C.L.A.S.S., visit the program web site at www.mydoghasclass.com. Sign Up Here
Tough Love Program
1. Write down everything your dog does that is inappropriate.
2. Write down everything you would like your dog to do instead of what he does in #1
3. Write down everything your dog does that is a demand from you for something. This can be for play, food or attention.
4. Write down what your emotions are about your dogs demands.
5. Write down everything you love about your dog.
1. NO free time. If he is not interacting with you, he is crated.
2. The only things he is allowed to chew on when he is not interacting with you is a bone.
3. All meals are hand fed with the pushing method.
4. All exercise, all free time is done on leash or long line.
5. He is no longer allowed on the furniture.
6. He is no longer allowed in your lap.
7. Get him on a head halter or traffic lead and keep it on him at all times when he is outside his crate.
8. Receives nothing for free. All toys, interaction with you, food, attention or treats must be earned.
9. Interaction with any one is constructive play. Tugging, fetching (on the long line), trick training, scent detection - anything that is natural for a dog to do.
10. During all play with the other dogs, you must recall the dog every 5 minutes. If he doesn't recall, he goes back in the crate.
While working on the all important recall, use these games for practice.
They are fun for you and your dog
So, you know what not to do, you know what to do instead; what else should you do to build a really reliable recall? This is not an exhaustive list of recall tips or tricks–there are many fun games and exercises to do with your pup to improve their recall.
JACKPOTS–This is an obvious but often overlooked aspect of recall training. If your dog makes the awesome choice to stop chasing a deer and recall, and all you reward with is a few pieces of kibble, your pup may decide that chasing the deer is more valuable. When teaching a recall I pretty much jackpot each successful recall with 30 seconds of happy dancing, playing, happy pets, and getting multiple rewards…even on “easy” recalls. I want to build my value up significantly so I can regularly compete with the reinforcement of chasing a deer. Now-a-days, I don’t have to have food on me to recall the dogs successfully, but I do reward with food whenever I have it, will throw a party (minus food) if I don’t have food, and will occasionally jackpot with food, party, exciting play.
BE YOUR OWN CHEERLEADER: This means that when you call your dog, you are actually competing with all the other stuff out there which is also calling for your dog’s attention, whether it’s the interesting smells to investigate or other dogs to play with or joggers to chase or food scraps to scavenge… People don’t seem to realise or understand this -- they think that their dogs just OUGHT to listen and obey, without them putting in any work - when actually, you have to compete for and earn their attention just as much as anything else. You have to be your own cheerleader.
Basketball. Inside, with dog on lead, two handlers sit on the floor facing each other about 6' apart.
One handler holds the dog; the other holds the end of the lead.
The handler with the lead calls the dog, in a happy and pleasant voice. If necessary, the handler pulls the dog to him, praises and (optional) treats. The dog is then turned around to face the other handler, who repeats the procedure. Goal: repeat until dog no longer needs to be pulled by the lead. At that point, increase distance, and repeat until dog is coming willingly. Repeat until handlers are 12' apart. If the dog does not come immediately, put lead back on and repeat. Goal: dog comes repeatedly without lead.
Hide and Seek. Dog off lead. One handler goes out of sight (around a corner into another room). Call the dog. Praise and reward. If the dog does not come to the handler, go to the dog and take him by the collar. Pull him to where the handler called him, sit, praise (or treat). Second handler calls dog back. Repeat above procedure. Goal: Repeat until dog doesn't hesitate in finding handlers. Repeat the sequence above, hiding in different rooms in the house. If the dog needs help, get him and take him by the collar and guide him to where he was called. Praise and reward the dog every time he finds a handler. Goal: Repeat until the dog finds handlers every time.
Repeat out in the yard (in a secure area). Go back to the lead if the dog is distracted. Praise and pet into sit with treat. Repeat until dog comes every time, even with distractions. This can now be done with one handler. Take the dog away from home into a secure park, woods, etc. Practice hiding from him any time he gets more than 20' away. Remember: always praise and/or reward him when he finds you. Continue your practice in different places with different distractions.
Play Ball: Stand about 50 feet from your helper, with your dog wandering around without a leash (you can have a tab leash on if you choose). Then throw a ball so it lands near your helper. As soon as the ball leaves your hand say "Macy come!", by doing this you are giving your dog a choice to make. She can either come to you as requested (which you would reward her for) or set off after the ball.
If she decides the ball is a better option, your helper leans down and picks it up before she arrives. Your helper just holds onto the ball and ignores your dog. When your dog decides it's time to go back to you, just give her a bit of a pat, but don't make a fuss. It's a good idea to mix it up a bit and throw the ball without issuing your "come" command at times, just let your dog get the ball.
Come Fore: Begin walking forward and after a few steps run backwards about six steps while calling the dog to you. DO NOT turn around and run away from the dog. You want to back up so that when the dog turns to look at you when you call him, he realizes that you are backing up and he will run to catch up to you, not just catch you. If he doesn’t come right to you, reel him in like you had a fish on the end of the leash. Bring him right to you, between your knees. Heap on the praise.
Restrained Recall: This is another game for two people. First person holds dog while second person walks a good distance from the dog, turns and calls the dog to them. First person then releases dog who should race to the second person. You can switch rolls if you want the dog to learn to come to both of you. Remember to both use the same recall command. This recall is a great way to teach your dog to come FAST. Be sure to do this in an enclosed yard and only if the dog comes to you regularly. If the yard isn’t enclosed you can use a long line (30 foot) to attach to the dog. With a long line, the person calling the dog should take the handle of the line and walk to the end of it and turn to face the dog and call him to you. Again, keep this exercise fun and upbeat.
Run Away Recall: Here's another game for two people. Have a helper hold the dog while you go out about six feet. Turn and face the dog. As you call him in a very excited way, turn and run away a little bit so the dog has to chase you to catch you. Turn to catch the dog as he reaches you, you don’t want the dog to run past you, but to you. You want to stop running and turn to catch the dog as he gets close to you. Catch him happily when he gets to you. It’s ok to do a little wrestling with him at this point if it makes him happy to come to you. Just don’t let it get too out-of-hand. This is another good exercise to teach a speedy recall. Again, don’t do this one if the dog is not coming to you regularly.
Toy Chase Recall: When your dog is a distance from you call him and just as he reaches you, toss a toy behind you so he will run past you to get the toy. (for fast recalls) With a small dog you can toss the toy between your legs. Encourages straight "to you" recalls. This is just another way to make the recalls lots of fun and encourage reliable recalls. Again, don’t do this one until the dog comes to you regularly.
Long Line Recall: Use long line to increase distance for longer recalls with control. This is a good method to use if you are teaching more formal, controlled recalls with sits in front. Put your dog on a sit/stay. Attach a light weight long line to his collar, along with his regular walking leash, AND do not touch the long line again. The dog will now have two leashes on his collar. Begin walking with the dog in heel position while only holding his regular leash. Let the long line play out behind him until you have walked far enough so that the line is straight out behind the dog. Come to a halt with the dog sitting next to you. Make an in-place about turn/halt. The long line should now be stretched out in front of you. DO NOT TOUCH THE LONG LINE. Unsnap his regular leash and let the dog see you drop it on the ground next to where you are standing. DON’T TOUCH THE LONG LINE. Give the dog a stay command and walk away from him to the end of where the long line is lying on the ground. If you are afraid the dog will bolt, stand on the long line but don‘t touch it with your hands. Call the dog to you. When he gets to you, have him sit in front. If he doesn’t come to you, quickly walk down the long line and take his collar on each side of his face and run backwards a number of steps, calling him to you. Keep it HAPPY, don’t be angry or upset. When you stop with him sitting in front of you, give him lots of praise for coming. I know, you did all the work, but you still need to praise him.
In the event the dog should try to bolt or not come to you when you call, and you are standing on the end of the long line, do not pick up the long line and bring the dog to you. Instead, walk quickly down the long line and grab the dogs collar. DO NOT GRAB THE LONG LINE. Let the dog think that you can get a hold of him, no matter where he is. He will have forgotten about the long line, unless you remind him that he is wearing it.
The long line is also an excellent way to begin teaching obedience off lead. If the line is light enough and the snap is small enough, it will be easy for the dog to forget he’s got a long line on, and all you have to do is step on the line to keep him from getting too far away from you. Just remember, GRAB THE DOG, NOT THE LONG LINE.
The first method explains how to teach a dog to follow and touch a target stick with its nose - this training can be done informally at home. Once the dog has understood the concept, the target stick can held by the trainer or helper while they are standing behind the traffic cone. Then the dog can run up to touch the target stick as it is being moved around the cone before running back to its handler for it motivator. This method of training takes longer to teach but has the advantage of being able to transfer the dog's willingness to follow the target stick to other training situations (eg. teaching tricks for Heelwork To Music etc.) and is particularly suitable for those dogs that are able to concentrate.
The second method of teaching a dog to do Round is done with the helper or trainer calling and luring the dog around the cone using their hands and body movements.Eventually the distance is increased until the dog is running the full 51ft to run around the cone. This method takes less time to teach and is more suitable for those dogs that have poor levels of concentration as they only have to watch what the helper is doing with their hands and body movement. It is also popular with those types of dogs that love to run for the sheer pleasure of it, without having to "think" too hard!
Touch: The dog learns to run approximately 51ft (15.3m) up to a Target Box and touch it with at least one of its paws as it turns around to run back to its handler.
The first method explains how to teach a dog to touch a "marker" with its front paw - this training can be done informally at home while you are watching TV and relaxing. Once the dog has understood the concept, the marker is stuck on a >target box and the dog is taught to run up to the box, touch the marker with its paw and run back to its handler.
>The other method of teaching a dog to do Touch is done by slightly altering what it was taught to do in Hand. Instead of the ball being put on a black rubber car mat for the dog to retrieve, the ball is placed in a "ball holder" that can be clipped to the front of the Target Box. Although this is a far quicker method of training a dog to do Touch it has the limitation of not being able to teach the dog to press or touch any other object in any other circumstances (which it is possible to do using the "marker" method - eg. shutting doors, pressing buttons, training a dog to touch contact equipment in Agility, etc).
Round Robin Recalls: Three or more people can play. Spread out in a circle 20 or more feet in diameter. Your dog should be dragging a line long enough to reach all the players. One at a time, call your dog and give him treats when he comes. If he decides the game is to run from person to person getting treats, only the person who calls him should pay any attention to him or reward him; everybody else should look at the sky. Use the dragline to enforce the recall if necessary.
Cookie in the corner:
- While you are touching your dog's collar, give your dog a highly reinforcing
- When the dog is obviously looking forward to you touching his/her collar
then you can wrap your fingers around the collar and give the treat while
holding the collar.
Always give the treat while you are touching/holding the collar, not before or
after. Your dog should quickly get to the point when s/he is moving towards you and if
you hold your hand out that s/he will push his/her collar into your hand.
Do no more than 3 repetitions of this in a row without breaking it up with a
release to play, a game of tug or fetch.
Cookie In The Corner
Chase: chase is fine, as long as you are the one running away. Call your dog, then sprint away as fast as you can. She will catch you. Turn and run a different direction. She’ll catch you again. Ask for a sit and give her a treat. You don’t necessarily have to treat this one — chase is rewarding in and of itself.
Follow Me!: In this game your dog will enthusiastically follow you as you walk backwards. With your dog on-leash and with plenty of space start walking backwards. As your dog turns to follow you say “yes” or click, continue to walk backwards. As your dog is walking, trotting or running toward you say <YourWord> and when your dog catches up to you reward with a treat. Repeat by walking backwards in the opposite direction. The quicker you can move backward the more speed you should get out of your dog – but be careful not to trip, of course. This game creates another “picture” for your dog that coming toward you is fun and rewarding.
“Go Wild and Freeze” Game: This game will get you moving as well as your dog – it’s like interval training, and you can modify it as you like or as needed for your dog. Start by jumping and dancing around and get your dog excited and playful; you can teach your dog a cue for this – “get excited” or “get wild.” After about a minute, stop and give your dog a “freeze” cue and the command “sit” or “down.” Reward your dog by starting again and repeat the game over and over. It’s fun for you both and a great way to teach your dog to respond to your cues when he’s excited
Find It: This easy game will be a hit with your dog. Show your dog his favorite toy, one that he usually carries in his mouth. Give him the “Stay” command and leave the room to hide the toy. Return to your dog and tell him “Find It,’ and watch as your dog searches for the toy. If he comes back to you without the toy, urge him to keep looking, or direct him to the general area where it’s hidden. Once your dog returns with the toy, show him lots of praise and excitement and watch as he drops the toy, ready for you to hide it once again. This is one of Woof Reporter Larry’s favorite games and it’s always interesting to see him go to the usual toy hiding spots when searching for the hidden toy. You can also play this game with food, hiding treats around the house for your dog to sniff and discover, or hiding one treat at a time as you’d hide a toy.
Collar Holds: We want this to be very good before we put it with any of the other recall games. We want to practice so much that our dog gets wiggly and happy when we reach for his collar.
- Reach out with a flat hand, to the side of your dog's head. Touch your hand to his collar. Then feed a treat. Repeat multiple times.
- When dog is doing well and never moving away, gradually increase intensity.
- Practice reaching over the top of the head to the collar (we want to always go from the side in real life...but other people who don't know better might try to reach over the top).
- Get people your dog knows to practice this too.
Call and Run: Speed of handler and how far the handler goes, depends on what makes the dog happy, dog speed, and space available. Food/toy should NEVER be presented in training until the moment you are ready to reinforce.
- Have a helper hold your dog, or drop a few treats on the ground to distract him as you leave. Talk to your dog in a way that will attract him. When your dog is on his way to you, run away, then stop and scatter a few treats at your side.
- Dogs that like to play can have playtime when the dog arrives.
- Repeat many times, varying how soon/late you run and the distance the handler runs.
Call and Turn: This can be combined with the above, based on handler skill level. The coordinated handler can have treats in the left hand if you will have your dog come to your left. If you want your dog to come to your right, have your reinforcers ready in your right hand. If you are not coordinated, have treats in both hands, just in case you misjudge.
- Have a helper hold your dog, or scatter treats to distract him while you walk away.
- Call your dog (and possibly run). When your dog arrives, turn away from him a quarter of a turn, then scatter treats at your side. If your dog is coming to your left, you will rotate right. If your dog is coming to your right side, you will rotate left.
- Gradually increase the amount of your turn.
- Sometimes, instead of scattering treats, you can toss a big treat ahead at the "moment of reinforcement"
Loose your dog: This game requires some practice of the previous exercise.
- Call your dog, when he is about to reach you, dart away. Feed as soon as he catches up.
- Vary where you are turning.
- Always scatter treats at your side, or toss ahead of you at the "moment of reinforcement"
- When your dog has had many repetitions with one dart away, you can have two changes of direction before reinforcing.
- The more practice the dog tries, the harder you can work to loose your dog. At the same time, always plan it so that your dog will most likely succeed.