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It's National Pet Month

So, I have decided to write about some exercises that you can do with your dog over the next few weeks. remember every time you play, work or just walk with your dog, you are improving their lives! Isn't that rewarding.


Obedience doesn't have to mean control - just that we have structure so we know where we are and what the goal is.


Hand touching


Hold your left hand out to the side of your little way, dogs are naturally curious so should touch your outstretched hand, if they do, reward straightaway, by marking with a word i.e. good or yes and follow straight away with a treat. If you have any difficulty working with your dog on the left then work on the right. In fact, it’s worth teaching your dog to walk on both sides and therefore work on both sides so there’s your challenge for today.




Placing at Heel


With your treat in your hand in your left hand and the dog’s nose in contact with your fingers, take the dog round anticlockwise in a circle. Take the dog right out and behind you and then bring the dog up to your leg, trying to get the dogs right leg in line with the seam of your trousers, when the dog is there reward.


Starting heel work


Start with your hand held out to your left as far as you can reach with your fingers just above the dog nose. With your treat held between your first finger and your thumb, (the dog so should be slightly up in the air) take two pieces forward and the dogs nose is still in contact with your hand, reward.




Sitting in a chair with your bottom on the edge and your leg sticking out in front of you, (your feet should be no wider than the dogs bottom ) a big pot treats by your side with a glass of something or a lovely coffee for you. With your treats in your fingers encourage your dog to come into the funnel made by your legs, raising the treat to get the dog to sit by drawing the treat slowly up to your chest, once it’s sitting mark and treat. (if you initially have trouble getting the dog to sit just reward coming in) PS, your feet should be flat on the floor.


Heelwork on the move


With your arm straight out from your side and just a little above the dogs head, the treat glued on the dogs nose, walk a couple of steps with no commands. If the dog comes with you, mark it by saying good and give the treat straight away.

It is important you start with the placing at heel drill at the start of the exercise. You should repeat this exercise as often as you like, but don’t forget to break off and have a game regularly.


Close position


You should now be able to complete a full circle with your dog at arms length so now is it time to bring the dog in close. Slowly bring the dog into the close position by moving your hand into rest on your leg, as a dog gets to the heel position, reward immediately. Now repeat as you did before when they were out wide (ie. few steps and reward) after a few repetitions break off and play to reinforce the required action.


To advance the recall


With the dog in the present position, take a large piece of treat and throw under arm (so the dog can see it being thrown )the treat across the room as far as possible. As soon as the dog has eaten it, make a noise to encourage them to come back to you as quick as they can. Reward with another treat as they come back to the present position. Repeat a few times and break off for a game.


Walk behind


Now try this : holding the treat in your hand move your hand to position in the middle of your back. (depending on the size of the dog, move your hand again to just above the dogs nose) and encourage your dog to follow the treat. When the dog moves to the right place stop and reward. Repeat a few times and then reward by play.


The down


the dog should now be doing this consistently so try to get the dog to do it while you stand up and after a few repetitions try to take pace away from the dog and repeat. If it’s successful. Have a big game with them.


Sit at heel


stand against the wall just enough room for the dog to get between you and the wall (just width of the dog’s bottom in the sit position ) With your treat encourage the dog to come into the sit position. Their front legs should be in line with the seam of your trousers Reward repeat and then play.


Distance control.


Get your dog and sit position, by holding the treat on the dogs nose and moving the treat along the top of the dogs head towards the ears, mark and reward. Once comfortable with that, get the dog to go back by moving the treat under the dogs nose and down the chest towards the front legs, when the dog stands up reward.


The down.


Sit on the floor with your back against the wall keep one leg flat on the floor, make a bridge with the other leg and encourage the dog to follow the treat under the raised leg.


Repeat these exercises five times each but don’t do them all together, break them up and do one or two time. Always remember to break off and have a good game between the exercises. Remember all these exercises done without commands until the dog has got the idea. If you find the dog has difficulty with an exercise break off and try another one and come back to it when the dog has been successful with the new one. Good luck and if you want to join in the fun, get in touch today.



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