Dog Training the Conspiracy Theory

Thanks to CogniFit for the Photo

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!

WHAT?? I am being TRAINED??

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!

Example:

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…

This is NOT Training I don't Care what Anyone Says!

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!

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Comments

  1. Agility training can provide the environment and structure to build confidence in your dog. Agility classes are a great place for people to learn about the sport and learn how to train, but the timid dog may take a long time before he is ready to venture from under your chair or off your lap.You keep up the good work or the training fun for your dog and he/she will learn.

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  2. janet amighi says:

    Love your motivational stuff. Great. Can you do an article on training games?
    Some people think they are just ways to train, but chose things like puppy push ups that aren’t really fun for the dogs.
    my dogs like training together so we run run run and then I shout a command suddenly- down, or spin and if they do it fast, I throw them each a treat and then we run off again.
    But I’d love a bigger repertoire. More games that are fun for dogs, like the ball throwing. Thanks janet amighi

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    Minette Reply:

    WHAT????? My dogs LOVE puppy push ups!!! I think it is how you introduce and handle it 😉

    But, you make a good point… I will think on it and come up with a training games article.

    Also there is a search bar on the left of this page that you can search… I have written several articles as well as teaching your dog to track 🙂

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