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Quarantine and Training

So you are stuck at home. You can't take your dog to the dog park or even to a friends house. Your dog is driving you nuts! Chewing on things (including you), jumping, barking at every shadow or movement. You can only take him for so much of a walk. Help!

The answer is training! It is a good way to give your dog and you mental stimulation and get energy out. Often when I do my sessions people tell me their dogs are worn out when I leave.

What should you train? Anything and everything.

Start by looking at things your dog does naturally such as paw at you (shake) or jump (dance or jump over something as long as they are not jumping on you).

Sometimes just as simple as turning a circle can be good fun.

Yes you can even train them to bark on command. (This doesn't encourage barking as long as you only reward when you ask. In fact it can reduce it because they will begin to only bark when you ask them too. it is called guided extinction).

Depending on your dog you can do so much and you will be amazed the things your dog can learn.

Bonus this also builds your relationship making them trust and understand you more.

One behavior you can teach them is to "Target'. This behavior is so versatile once you get it down.

Step one: find something for them to target too I like a stick with a ball on it (although not with ball crazy dogs) but it can even be your fist or a toy, heck even just a dot on the wall can work.

Step two: present the target say "target" to your dog and mark (click if you have a clicker if not say "yes") when your dog touches it with his nose.

Step three: do this a few times in a row moving the mark to a different location each time. as you go you can put it farther and farther away make sure it is still in sight or she will get confused.

Step four: make things increasingly difficult by moving it farther away or hiding it if she seems confused you went to far to fast.

Step five: the limits are endless you can use this to teach them to send them away from you or even turn lights on or off.

this behavior is how they teach dogs in the movies to do all the cool things they do.

you can do the same thing with their paws (put the target near the paw you want to work on and mark when they touch the target with their paw)

Once you get a few behaviors down even just spending 5-10 minutes reviewing them is a good outlet for your dog. As long as you keep the training session moving it is a good way to expend your dogs energy and maybe fight your boredom as well.

Good luck and if you have questions I am here.

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