However, our dogs can (and so often DO) develop some pretty bad and long-term behaviors from their time at dog parks.
Some of the problems that arise include learned disobedience (the dogs learn that it's fun to disobey their owner at the dog park), incompatible play styles (dogs have trouble communicating with one another which can result in a scuffle), and facilitated aggression (like when two dogs in one family come to the dog park together and gang up on a third dog).
Click the photo to read the article for more information on the good, the bad, and the ugly about dog parks.
Let's put our dogs' thinking caps back on!
Spend about 1 minute working on your foundation, including:
The exercise with the funny noise 😉
Sit, Down, Sit.
Say it, lure it if necessary, say "yes!" when they do it, & reward! Keep in mind the "lures vs. bribes" handout.
Goal: To regain your puppy's focus when they get in front of you while heeling.
1) Heel forward 5-10 steps.
2) Flip your hand and do a foundation recall.
Be sure to only flip your hand, not your whole body!
Structured Heeling with Chase Recalls
Goal: To teach your puppy to not get out in front of you when heeling.
1) Grab a partner to help you with this one!
2) Get your dog ready to practice heeling and have your partner give you the cue to start heeling forward.
3) Have your partner call out "chase recall" every 3-5 steps and do a chase recall.
4) Repeat and have some fun!
Goal: To teach our puppies to be comfortable with us touching their collars.
1) Grab your puppy's collar.
2) Say "yes!"
3) Release their collar from your hand.
4) Throw them a party! Give treats and lots of love!
Snout to Tail Assessment
Goal: To teach your puppy to be comfortable being handled and examined.
Be sure to feed your puppy treats throughout this exercise to keep it a positive experience!
Examine your puppy's face and take a look at:
- Their eyes
- Their ears - and smell them!
- Their mouth - check out their gums and teeth
- Their nose
Feel down your puppy's spine all the way down to their tail. And check out their tail. Make sure everything feels and looks right.
Touch their belly (as long as they haven't been spayed or neutered recently) and feel for any out of place lumps and bumps.
Feel down one of their legs and touch one of their paws. Touch the toes on that paw too.
Goal: To teach our puppies to enjoy getting into the tub.
To keep training consistent, stash some treats in your bathroom (somewhere where your puppy cannot get them). Then you can do this exercise when you walk by the bathroom!
Toss treats into your bath tub and let your puppy jump in there to grab them.
You may want to put a towel down in the tub to keep them from slipping when jumping in.
Goal: To teach our puppies to come to us with excitement when we call them.
1) If you have a partner at home, grab a partner for this one! If not, get creative like in the video!
2) Have your puppy's harness on and clip their leash to the back clip of their harness.
3) Have your partner hold their leash and hold them back slightly while you call them excitedly!
4) Have your partner hold onto the leash and hold your puppy back just a little bit.
5) Then have your partner let your puppy shoot into you with excitement!
Let's do some fund party tricks with our puppies! These exercises also double as conditioning exercises.
To lure a Sit Pretty, start with your puppy in a seated position. Then take the lure from their nose back and upwards to get them to bring their front feet up but leave their bottom on the ground.
This is a hard one for our puppies! They will only be able to do a few in a row!
This is another fun party trick!
For a Bow, we start with our puppies in a standing position (four on the floor) and take a lure from their nose down on a diagonal path towards their elbows to get them to fold their elbows down.
This is another fun trick to show your friends!
To get our puppies to Crawl, we must start with them in the laying down position. Then we take the lure from their nose and slowly drag it along the ground in front of them to get them to scooch forward without getting up.
This our last party trick this week!
To get our puppies to Play Dead, start with your puppy laying down. Then give them a deep and slow massage to get them to relax onto their side.
If needed, you can also lure them from their nose to the ground to get them to lay their head flat on it's side on the ground.
Be sure to give them a deep and slow massage, like the way we like to be massaged, not pet them! Petting is fast and excitatory - the opposite of what we are going for right now!