OK so, I should explain!
I decided to teach my dogs something a little earlier on – it ended up being really simple and could be VERY useful. I think – dog training is easy.
So, I though I would experiment by getting everyone to have a go as well and to report their findings (that’s YOU by the way).
The one thing I need, though, is for you to crack on with it – I’d like to write this up asap here in the blog. You can post your comments and questions in the blog below so we can all share them. If you are a friendly twitter sort, add your twitter name so we can all follow each other?
As you know I am a big fan of time-saving when it comes to teaching people about their dogs. NOT laziness and NOT corner cutting! Just time-saving.
So, rather than bog everyone down with a great long heavy instruction list, here is the basic premise.
1. Mark an area on your floor. I used masking tape. You can use a hoop, string, taped down loo roll, er (Blue Peter ideas to the fore…)
2. In the middle you might want to mark an ‘X’ although this is not compulsory
3. Get a treat, toss it into the area and as your dog goes to eat it, PRAISE (or click if you want). Repeat. A bit.
4. As you toss treat, make sure your arm is in a pointy gesture towards the space. Gradually let go of the treat later and later as your dog starts to work it out.
With Bonnie I used a clicker and ‘touch’ because it is easier to teach her in this way – my last trial on this went wrong (hey! I am human!)
5. When dog is going to the space, start saying ‘In your space!’ You don’t have to say that, you can say ‘Red!’ or ‘Banana!’ I don’t really mind. The more surreal the better as it makes a good point about dogs and language!
6. You should get to a stage where you can point – ‘in your space/red/banana/surreal command’ and the dog should rush in to the space.
7. Get further and further away from the area
8. Try from the other side of the room or doorway. Help your dog if they fluff it, by moving closer and pointing but dont chat or repeat yourself more than once. Always give them some ‘thinking’ time. You will be impressed at their powers of calculation, trust me.
9. DO something that they would normally bark at or be distracted by. For Lesley T, this involves knocking sound or a quick phone ring maybe? IMMEDIATELY use your command/point and toss treat etc.
10. HOW FAR DID YOU GET?
Dog training is EASY – don’t let anyone pretend it isn’t.
Finished result should be something like this: