Congrats S.T.A.R. Graduates!

Graduation

Click the photo of your graduation certificate below to see your printable PDF file!

 

If you'd like a printed copy of your graduation certificate, we can issue you one once we reopen.

Certificate Testing

You can still test out on the additional certificate exercises, Spin, Rollover, and Figure 8! Send me a video of you and your puppy completing the exercise, and I will send you a PDF file of the certificate. Once we reopen, I can issue you a printed one.

Kaitie's email: kaitie.ttk9@gmail.com

Additional Resources

Dog Parks

Dog parks are very alluring, but can also be dangerous in many ways. Ideally, they are great places to allow dogs to run and play. 

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.

Warmups!

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Let's put our dogs' thinking caps back on!

Spend about 2 minutes working on your foundation, including:

Foundation Recalls
The exercise with the funny noise 😉

Chase Recalls
Heel forward a few steps, then flip your hand and do a foundation recall.

Focus Trees
The exercise where you hold your arms out like you are making a T with your body.

Puppy Pushups
Sit, Down, Sit

Doggie Burpees
Stand, Sit, Down, Sit, Stand

Reorientation with Distractions

Goal: Teach our puppies to focus on us and not on the distractions in the environment no matter how exciting those distractions are.

Exercise: Grab a partner for this one!

1) Have your partner bounce a ball.

2) Get your puppy's focus back on to you.

Make sure your partner bounces the ball far enough away to get your puppy's attention, but not so close they can grab the ball. Also have them only bounce the ball once.

3) Solidify having your puppy's focus on you by giving them a few treats.

4) Repeat starting at Step 1. If it's going well, have your partner bounce the ball a little closer to you and your puppy.

To regain your puppy's focus, you can use their name, the focus command, and foundation recalls.

Collar Grab

Goal: To teach our puppies to be comfortable with us touching their collars and to concede to the pressure we are applying to them, not fight it.

Exercise

1) Grab your puppy's collar. Then say "yes" or click, release their collar from your hand, and give them a treat!

Try grabbing their collar in several different places!

2) Repeat, but this time apply a little pressure by lifting their collar slightly upwards. Then say "yes" or click, release your hand from their collar, and give them a treat!

3) Repeat, but this time apply a little pressure forward to get them to take a step. As soon as they take a step, say "yes" or click, release your hand from their collar, and give them a treat!

If they are doing well, try to get them to take a few steps!

Cookie Toss Recall

Goal: To keep coming when called fun and exciting for our puppies!

Exercise:

1) Toss a cookie and tell your puppy to "find it"

2) Once they eat it, do a foundation recall.

3) When they come to you, squat down and grab their collar from under their chin.

4) Throw them a party!

Grabbing their collar from under their chin will keep them from ducking and running away from us when we reach for their collars.

Muzzle Training

Muzzle Training has many benefits! In this video we discuss several situations in which a muzzle would come in handy and the stigma surrounding dogs wearing muzzles. We also show the first step in muzzle training.

Break the stigma of muzzles! Click the photo below to learn more!

The Process of Muzzle Training

Remember - you will ALWAYS need to go back at least one step from where your dog was at in the previous training session. We must also go at the speed that our dog wants to go, not the speed we want to go. Take it slow and reward heavily (food and praise!) at EVERY step!!

A quick breakdown of the process is:

  • Lure dog in the muzzle
  • Dog starts offering to put their nose in the muzzle.
  • Feeling the straps around their head.
  • Adjust the straps as you are rewarding your dog for the last step.
  • Hearing and feeling the buckle (quick clip and unclip!). This can be very scary for many dogs!
  • Extend the time the buckle is clipped (reward every half second).
  • Dog takes one step in the muzzle.
  • Dog walks across the room in a muzzle.
  • Owner throws a party while their dog is wearing a muzzle!

Your dog should always be eagerly going in the muzzle at every step. If your dog loses excitement, go back a few steps and reward heavily (food and praise!). Also, always throw a party when the muzzle goes on, even if your dog is conditioned to wearing it.

Triangle Recalls

Goal: This is another exercise that will help us to keep coming when called exciting for our puppies!

This also teaches our puppies that coming to you instead of the temptation will result in more rewards than just being impulsive and snatching the treat first.

Exercise:

1) Set up a triangle where you are one point, your puppy one point, and a potholder is the third point.

2) Hold your puppy back and place a treat on the pot holder.

3) Recall your puppy past the treat on the pot holder and reward them for coming when called. Then release them to go get the treat on the potholder.

Spot-On Game with Heeling

Goal: To have some fun working on heeling, sits, and downs with your puppy.

Exercise:

1) Grab a partner for this one and scatter some playing cards around the area you'll be heeling!

2) Have your partner play some music and start heeling with your puppy.

3) Have your partner periodically stop the music and call out either "sit" or "down."

4) Get your puppy on top of a playing card and into the position your partner called out.

5) Repeat and have some fun!

Heeling

Goal: To teach our puppies to walk by our side, not in front of us.

Exercise:

1) Grab a partner for this one!

2) Heel around an area with your dog and have your partner call out these commands to keep heeling engaging:

  • U-Turn - a 180 degree turn to your left (into your dog)
  • About Turn - a 180 degree turn to your right (make a little foundation recall noise when you do this one)

Tub Games

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!

Exercise:

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.