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Lazy laid back dog training…

Lazy laid back dog training…

Training dogs to jump over stuff and to do the Macarena in this hot weather we are experiencing now, it’s exhausting for the handler and the dog.  And thus, semi-pointless because we all know dogs learn best when they are having fun.  Our dog does need a workout, however it does not need to be physical and that’s where the lazy-laid back dog training comes in handy.   Professional trainers also refer to it as capturing.

So find yourself a spot in the shade, and find your dog a spot in the shade, have lots of treats ready and wait for your dog to do something.  ANYTHING.  Your dog might look to the left or look to the right; he might tilt his head or lick his lips.  He might stretch, he might yawn, all you need to do is say ‘Yes’ in a happy tone and toss your dog a treat.  See which behaviours your dog offers the most, so he might do a lot of things but he tends to tilt his head back more often than the other behaviours.  Then you will only reward that behaviour, or increments of it.   Continue building on this behaviour, until you are 100% sure that the dog will do it, and then put a name to it.  You only want to reward the behaviour when your dog has offered it, after you said the word.  Be careful not to move on to fast, if it seems that your dog is confused, back up a step or two.  Remember, this is just a fun exercise to get your dog’s grey matter working, you don’t need to be in any kind of rush.

This is a very helpful exercise for anxious and scaredy dogs, by rewarding each and every behaviour they offer in your session, will help them to build confidence.  And they will eventually become less fearful of trying new things.  With scaredy dogs, get them to touch random things with their nose and reward them for it.  Don’t ask them to do it though, wait for them try it out themselves. Don’t expect them to touch items they are already afraid of, because that would do no good, start with objects that have no meaning to them. And as they get more confident, bring in a new item for them.  They can even nose touch your hand, your knee or other people. Always work according to your dog’s pace and keep sessions short.

By Tersha

Alice Thandi