Welcome to my journey! This blog is about my adventures in dog training, pet therapy work, rescue work and life with my menagerie of animals. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Driveway training...

I have talked about this before but I think it bears repeating...frequently! The best way to train your dog is through the natural course of the day. Use the every day activities you do with your dog to work in a little training. I'll give you an example; I have a driveway that is about 150ft. long. This morning I needed to go out to put some letters in the mailbox that is at the end of the driveway, so I called to Jojen and we headed down the driveway. Now, I could have just let him wander around sniffing and playing in the snow but I decided to use the time to my advantage (it's difficult training one dog in the house with 2 others clamoring for your attention). I realized I had no treats with me so I used his desire to go explore as his reward for working on heeling with me. I made sure I gave him constant verbal praise as he walked close by my leg looking up at me and then I would release him with an "Ok, go play" and he would romp around and then come back on his own and we'd begin again. We did this on the way up the driveway and then again on the way down. I could have done a few more passes but I decided to end on a good note and after some pretty stellar heeling we celebrated by playing a game of chase mommy! He was thrilled and all of this took maybe 10 minutes and it was all while doing something I needed to do anyway! So maybe you don't have such a long driveway, it doesn't matter! You can make a few passes or just work a little at a time. You can use a hallway in your home or even just walk the perimeter of a room!

The training possibilities are endless too, it doesn't have to be just working on heeling or leash walking. You can practice recalls, automatic sits when you stop walking, "watch me", leave it, stays, touch, Rally obedience moves, freestyle routines, tricks, etc. You can even use this time to work with your dog if they have any fear or reactivity issues. Building their confidence in small blocks of time is optimal as they don't become overwhelmed and neither of you get frustrated.

So I'll say it again (and probably again some other time), make training part of your everyday life and it won't seem so daunting a task!


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