Dog Training the Conspiracy Theory
There is a conspiracy theory among dogs that dog trainers are plotting to train them without their knowledge.
I think it’s my dog that is starting the rumor…
She swears she has not engaged in relentless monotony and boredom of “Dog Training” or anything of the sort, but she says she feels like she is doing things she wouldn’t otherwise do.
She is trying to spread the word through her furry friends that covert dog trainers are trying to take over the world.
Just between you and me….Fury is RIGHT!! She is being covertly trained!
Dog Training doesn’t have to be Boring and Monotonous for the Person OR the Dog!
Training can be fun, and if you do it right your dog doesn’t even know he has just been through a session of dog training!
I am trying to fix my dog’s “Come Front”.
In many competitions one of the tasks is to call you dog to come, and your dog must come in fast and sit directly in front of you. He should sit straight, and so close that you could reach down and touch his head.
Crooked sits (not being perfectly straight) and a dog that is sitting too far away are penalized and valuable points can be lost.
However in our first competition sport, my dog was taught to go straight into heel position when recalled…now I am desperately trying to change that so that I can compete in other sports! But, her desire is to come and flip into heel because it was what was conditioned first (habits are hard for dogs to break too)!
So yesterday I took my girl and we headed outside to my training field, with two balls (her FAVORITE).
And at first I began by putting the left side of my body up against things like trees and chairs, inhibiting her ability to go directly into heel. Each time she was successful at orienting herself in front of me I would throw the ball and then call her again, waiting with ball #2.
When she was not successful, or not straight I would simply say “nope” marking that the behavior given was wrong and would not get her what she wanted (her ball) and then I would go out again and call her.
I didn’t need a leash, or to yank, push or pull her into position and I didn’t yell or get frustrated. If she wasn’t showing the behavior I desired we just tried again and she had to wait longer and do the task correctly before getting her ball.
She had NO IDEA she was being trained…
In her mind she was just playing ball with mom, and slowly she began to understand what it took for me to give her instant gratification (a fast and straight sit!).
That is all we did, no heeling, no downs or stays; I just played ball with the requirement that when I called her name she came flying straight into me and sitting at my feet.
She loved it! And, I can only assume that after several days/weeks of this play she will understand what this command means and all the intricacies that surround it and hopefully we will do well at our next competition.
This Can be Done For Any Behavior!
- Are you having trouble getting your dog to lay down?
- Come to you (without caring about the straightness of the sit)?
- Give you Sustained Eye Contact and Focus?
- Leave Other Things in His environment?
No matter what you are working on you can instill a game into your training.
It is a whole lot more fun for both of you if you don’t feel the time is tedious and frustrating! Get out there and play together, just make your dog do something for you!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.