It's Time to Sign Up for Your Next Class!
While we are in social isolation now, it will not last forever. We hope to be back together again in the beginning of May. With that said, even in the unlikely event it is extended, online learning will continue, as well as new options. We are looking into using Zoom meetings so there can be more interaction and real time feedback!
Tuesdays starting May 12th at 6pm.
Take your Core Manners skills to the next level! This class is taught with pet owners & seasoned exhibitors in mind. We will teach you how to execute the Rally signs with precision and flair, all while having FUN! We take Rally to a whole new level and show you how to get the most animated and FOCUSED performance possible! Click HERE to sign up!
Build your dog's confidence, while having extreme fun! Each class is a new obstacle course for your dog! Courses are designed to be a fun physical and mental challenge. Click HERE to sign up!
It's Time to Start Weaning Off of Treats
Now is the time we start weaning our dogs off of treats on commands. To do this, we give commands that are dog is 100% fluent on - meaning they do them every single time we ask without a lure - and we give them treats for performing the command sporadically.
For example, if our dog is 100% fluent on the command "sit" we will sometimes treat them after the first time they have performed the command, sometimes the third, sometimes the second, and so on. Keep them guessing!
*Only do this with commands your dog is 100% fluent on!*
All great workouts, including mental ones, begin with warmups! Let's put our dog's thinking caps on!
Spend a good 2 minutes working on your foundation, including:
The exercise with the funny noise 😉.
Sit, Down, Up-Sit.
Say it, lure it if necessary, say "yes!" when they do it, & reward! Keep in mind the "lures vs. bribes" lesson.
Have your clicker in one hand and your treat in the other. Then hold both arms straight out to your sides, like you are making a T with your body.
Ask them to look at you, the moment they look you in the eyes, click, and give them the treat.
Goal: Your dogs comes when called every time - enthusiastically!
Exercise: Hide somewhere your dog cannot see you and call them like CRAZY! You will need to be extra loud and exciting for this.
You may find it helpful to have someone hold your dog back while you go out of sight for this exercise. Please note, I did NOT place Togo into a stay before starting this exercise. The bed he is on is just his natural resting place.
*Do NOT practice stays and recalls back to back*
Goal: To show our dogs that getting out of heel position does not pay! And that staying in heel position is rewarding.
1) Place a treat on a pot holder about 10-15 feet away from you (or have some else place the treat there for you).
2) Your dog will likely pull towards to treat. When they do, plant your feet and ignore your dog.
3) When your dog stops pulling towards the treat, click and reward them.
4) Now take a step forward. Keep progressing forward if the leash is loose. Click and reward with each step if the leash is loose. If the leash gets tight, go back to step two.
5) Once you and your dog get up to the potholder with a loose leash, give them their "get it" command and let them have the treat.
Now we are clicking and rewarding not only for the leash being loose, but also for your dog checking in with you.
Repeat steps 1 & 2.
3) When your dog stops pulling towards the treat, they will likely look at you. If they do, click and reward. If they do not look at you within 5 seconds, ask them for a "watch-me" and click and reward when they look at you.
4) Now take a step forward. Keep progressing forward if the leash is loose. Click and reward with each step if the leash is loose and they are checking in with you. If the leash gets tight, go back to step two. If they do not check in with you for a full 5 seconds, ask them for a "watch-me" and click and reward when they do look at you.
5) Once you and your dog get up to the potholder with a loose leash, give them their "get it" command and let them have the cookie.
Goal: To show your dogs that staying is more rewarding than getting up.
1) Get your dogs into a nice stable stay position.
2) Take one step back with ONE foot and lean back on it for less than a second. If your dogs stays say "good" (or your word of choice that means your dog did what you asked, you want them to keep doing it, their reward is coming).
3) Walk back to your dog and pay the mat (give them a treat on the mat).
4) Repeat, but this time take a step back with both feet.
5) Release them and have a party!
You can increase the distance (how many steps you take), but don't always increase the distance. For example, sometimes take one step, then three, then two, then four. Release often & party!
Goal: For your dogs to remain focused on you while you interact with another team.
When we practice this exercise in class, it goes like this:
1) We have two handler-dog teams approach one another (dogs on the outside, humans on the inside) and pause next to one another.
2) They both sit their dogs and stay their dogs.
3) They both put up body blocks (put one leg forward).
4) They exchange pleasantries and then part ways. When parting ways, they both call their dogs to ensure their dogs come with them and that they do not try to leave with the other team.
You may not be able able to practice this exercise exactly this way at home, but you can replace the other dog-handler team with some sort of other distraction like a stuffed animal!
Sit Politely for Petting
Goal: For your dog to learn that pets only happen when they are sitting (or at least four-on-the-floor).
1) Sit your dog and stay your dog.
2) Have someone approach you and your dog and ask to pet your dog.
3) Allow that person to pet your dog as long as your dog remains four-on-the-floor (they should start seated, but may stand when the petting has begun).
4) If your dog jumps, the person petting them should stop petting them, ignore them, and wait for them to return to four-on-the-floor before starting to pet them again.
Spin & Twirl
Your dogs are working hard! Let's have some fun with them! In the next section, we'll do some Rally, but first, you need to teach your dogs to spin and twirl.
To teach a spin, you'll need to lure your dog from heel position in a BIG circle away from your body.
To teach a twirl, make a BIG circle, the other direction (into your body from heel position).
Your key to success will be using a BIG lure!
What is Rally? Rally is a great combination of obedience and fun! Rally courses consist of 10-20 signs of things you must perform with your dog.
They could be things like "down and walk around your dog" or fun things like you and your dog spinning in unison or more advanced things like sending your dog away from you and having them perform from a distance.
No matter what the sign is, Rally is a great way to spice up obedience for both dogs and handlers!
Make sure you practice Spin and Twirl before trying out these Rally signs!
Sit to Say Please to Exit
We have been practicing Sit to Say Please to Exit when we leave the ring each night after class, but you can practice it at home too! This will help teach your dogs not to run out the door which can save their lives too!
1) Sit you dog and stay your dog.
2) Open up the door. If they try to shoot through the door, shut it (do NOT shut the door on them).
3) Once you have the door open and they have remained seated, "release" them to go through the doorway (give their release command and let them go through the doorway).