LOCKDOWN SCHOOL WITH WALKABOUT
FOR YOU TO PRACTICE:
With so many dogs now finding it a challenge with all the changes happening and it would appear, we still have a number of weeks to go before we can restart normal life again, I have put together some tasks to do with your dog to help them.
Take your time with each section, but remember these have been put together to help your dog. Concentrate on one section a day but try and complete all the tasks with your dog. After you have finished, leave them alone to rest and or relax.
Try and establish a routine with your dog. It will help them and you.
This is what we do at home:
We still get up at our normal time - even if we don't have anything special to do!
Let the dogs out first thing for toilet and then reward with breakfast.
After 90 minutes, they get their walk ( we have always done this and still take them to the same place)
On return they are left to rest indoors and we get on with our work/chores.
At lunch time we interact with them again/training/grooming
Afternoon, we allow them garden exercise but supervised as there are dogs in neighbouring gardens, some of which are very barky!
Around four, they have a Treat/ Sprinkles/Chew and we spend some time with them.
Their dinnertime is at 6 and afterwards, they get garden time again. Other than that they are left alone.
I do realise that it is tempting to spend more time with the dogs, do things with them but try and establish some rest time and supervise garden time. If like us, you have dogs next door, then use your training time to teach and maybe do this closer to the fence line. Getting your dogs to focus on you instead of the neighbours dog is good practice.
Here are your challenges to work through.
SECTION ONE IS ALL ABOUT HANDLING
GIVE PAW ON COMMAND – hold onto it for count of 10 and treat at the end of doing this.
HIGH 5 – can you do it with both paws - one at a time though
NOW THE OTHER PAW – do both paws and maybe the back ones – as if you are drying them
As always, do each move three times and take the opportunity to teach your dog to do it on command, by repeating what you are asking them each time . I find it best to do this when your dog is hungry; maybe a good time would be for them to earn some of their dinner?
SECTION TWO - CONTROL IN A CAR
Now I know that you may have a struggle with this unless your car is on your own land! So maybe practice this at the back door? The idea is to have control at an exciting place. Once you have cracked the back door - maybe try the front door depending on where it opens to.
Let's get started by first of all getting control by the dog being on a lead. So if you don't have a lead on in the car(back door), then you want a calm dog waiting for it's lead to be put on.
1. Control while waiting in the stationary car (No barking at all calmly waiting for the lead to be attached)
2. Sit while dog in car before removing from car( for at least 5 mins) - then sit while you shut the car (door)
3. Settle while dog in car (for at least 10 minutes) - stand away - with your dog still on a lead and you holding it (You may want a cuppa for this!) Then when finished, call your dog to you and get them to sit whilst you shut everything up.
SECTION THREE - LETS PREPARE YOUR DOG FOR THE VETS OR GROOMERS
It is important for your dog, that they are rightly prepared for handling by either your vet and or groomer, and maybe children if you have them. Here are some useful tips and then your challenge for today.
If you haven’t already practiced the grab the collar and associated tips then go to that first.
Here is the link: Grab the collar/Handling
Remember that all of these routines are to help your dog feel safe - so get going and make sure you have plenty of time and treats for them.
1. Examine your dog as if you are the Vet – with titbits and on a table if appropriate
2. Now try without titbits – but reward at the end
3. Now do it without a lead to restrain your dog.
At all times go slowly. No rushing here. It is your opportunity to examine your dog everyday.
Do you actually know what your dog feels like?
Have fun and call me if you have any questions
SECTION FOUR - LETS TALK ABOUT VOICE COMMANDS
The whole world is a noisy place and in a busy home - especially at the moment- your dog must be suffering and onslaught of noise.
From the Tv or radio through to people talking all the time, it must be hard for them.
Now we can’t change that too easily but we can help our dogs by being aware of this and maybe allowing them some peace and quiet. The other thing we can do is help them understand what to do with just ONE command.
Try it with your normal voice and then try it by saying it softly
As always reward within 3 seconds of your dog doing it.
Do everything three times before moving on.
Get your dog to SIT – try and say it only once - using a treat on their nose will help you. Simply bring it back over their head and they will follow and sit.
DOWN – your dog to go down and stay down.- with your dog in the sit, draw the treat down to the floor. Wait with the treat covered by your hand and reward as soon as they lay down.
STAND – you have your dog in the sit and with a treat/toy in your hand, move as though you are going to throw it between your dogs front legs. Reward as soon they stand up.
GO AWAY – just like sending your dog to bed - by now you should have taught your dog this - see Lockdown-projects. for more details.
SECTION FIVE - RECALLS
Now we all know that this is important exercise to teach and must not get cross!
But I also know that is difficult when your dog is dancing just out of reach!
Practice in a safe space to begin with. If your dog wont come in immediately from the garden when you call them, then what chance when out and about with all the added smells.
Firstly, practice on a lead and then on a long line. Reward when you have the collar, not before or they will just dart off again. Be sure to always tell your dog what you want - don't just call their name! "(name, COME")
Secondly, we are going to think about how we call them - nice happy voice is fine for puppies, but an adult dog who knows better, needs a voice that makes it clear, to come straight away. No dog will mind this, especially if you are warm and welcoming when they get to you and you have a super juicy reward. Remember, if you have been practising your circuit training, your dog will prefer to be with you anyway - check this out again: How-to-enjoy-a-walk
Now the challenges:
Recall your dog with distractions – maybe other people? (you may have to get someone to hold your dog, while you walk away from them.)
Use toys and food as a distraction – set out a distraction alley with toys and treats and recall your dog through it
Use just one command only – do as above, but only call your dog once.
Make yourself fun to be with - and keep your dog on lead if you have any doubts about them coming back.
SECTION SIX - DOWN-STAY IN ONE PLACE
We all need our dogs to stay still sometimes, calmly and relaxed.
If you haven't already taught your dog to go bed and lie down - do this first.
Check out our page for ideas of how to teach this.
Keep your praise low and calm, treats juicy and rewarding.
Do each part 3 times and then allow a gap before starting the next time slot.
Keep them staying for 1 minute - then return to them and reward.
2 minutes down stay – stand behind them - return to reward
5 minutes down stay -standing behind - go back to their side before rewarding
10 minutes - down stay - stand to the side of them and have a cuppa! Jackpot after this exercise but keep calm - you don't want any excitement, you have just taught your dog to be quiet.
SECTION SEVEN - HEEL-WORK
There is a nice and easy way to teach your dog to walk by your side without pulling and it might be worth your having a go at this first. Check it out here:
Get your dog to circle to left by following your hand x 3
Now do it to the right x 3
In through the legs from the front
In through the legs from the back
SECTION EIGHT - SPEAK ON COMMAND
(Now this is fun but very useful – to begin with wait until your dog barks and say “Speak”)
Basic speak on command
Start and stop
Continuous barking and then stop
SECTION NINE - BANDAGING – A useful thing to do!
(Be careful that you don’t do this too tight, but no point in doing it too loose either as it will come off.)
Ear, flat to the head
Tail, all the way to the tip
SECTION TEN - MORE HEEL-WORK
Check out the circuit training page again - How-to-enjoy-a-walk
Figure of 8 around the legs
Weave and Walk
Figure of eight but your dog follows your hand, rather than go around you!
SECTION ELEVEN - TAKE A BOW
Start with a gentle bow and helping your dog – use no pressure but do use treats.
Now try with verbal help and signal – no touching
Now voice or hand signal only
SECTION TWELVE - LEAD ON
(Practice in a safe space to begin with and only if you have a strong recall anyway - check Section 5)
One hand only, - Use only one hand, get your dog on its lead.
Recall, - Now practice a recall, a using one hand, connect your lead.
Do this in your garden/home only - Remove your dog's collar and lead while they sit their and put it back on again.
SECTION THIRTEEN - INSTANT DOWN
Check out our Lockdown Projects for more help
Facing dog, get your dog to drop flat onto the floor
Hands on head – dog to drop to the floor
Back to your dog – dog to drop to the floor
SECTION FOURTEEN - NOSE BALANCE
Toy/titbit and with for command – place on the dogs nose and they must wait before taking the article.
Balance, toss and catch on command – yep, they should toss up into the air and catch it.
Use voice or hand signal only – off you go!
SECTION FIFTEEN - WAIT FOR FOOD
On paws – place reward on the paw and on your command they can take it
State which paw – Teach which paw is left and which is right
Hand signal only – now test
Congratulations, I do hope that you have had fun - when your dog can do it without distractions at home, now introduce some these tricks in your walk. Have fun.