5 Things to do with your dog
While at home with the Covid19 Pandemic
Training should be fun and should be taught with treats or positive pressure. Be patient and most important have fun while training!
Training the Non-Traditional Way
Roll Over: When training your dog if you break each step down into steps you will have more success then trying to teach to the end behavior. When teaching roll over the first thing we need to have our dog do is lay down, remember no commands to each step or they become a behavior all on its own, we are teaching to the end goal but breaking it down to where we can just say roll over. Step 1: lay down, Step 2: using the treat lure/turn your dogs head to the left or right until they shift their hip over to one side or the other. Step 3: Keep luring their head the same way but having their nose go over their shoulder so their shoulder drops and they are on their side. I am training each step. Step 4: Keep their head close to their shoulder and using treats of course lure/move their head the rest of the way over.
If you would like to see training videos on how to teach tricks and obedience you can go to dogtraining360.com and sign up for my online dog training. This e-learning platform is a life time of training videos. You can follow the General course or you can request videos custom to your questions and training goals. Each video takes you step by step on how to teach and the why’s behind the training. I give you real life ways to train your dog.
Leash Walking: Four simple steps to get you and your dog off to the right start for leash walking.
Step 1: Dog should be on your left side and leash in your right hand holding it center to your body. When your dog gets ahead of you before they start to pull or if they are already there, stop abruptly.
Step 2: Start to back up and bring your dog back to your left side with your left hand.
Step 3: bring your dog into your leg to turn them around facing back in the direction you were going in.
Step 4: let go of the leash with your left hand and proceed to walk forward. This should be done all in one motion, do not stop and hang in each step long, our goal is to teach walking not stopping and sitting and resetting.
The progression week 1 lots and lots of backing up. Week 2, less back up and your dog is starting to be a bit softer on the leash pulling. Week 3 your dog will hurry and get back to your side so you can go forward. Week 4 you and your dog will get into a nice balance of loose leash walking. If you think you should back up then back up, if it is a question then back up.
Dog Massage: This is a great way to desensitize your dog, learn who they are and to help them relax, stretch and release. You first start to relax your dog from a sitting position and pet with long deep strokes. As your dog lays down you continue to pet in log deep pets, no scrubbing or patting, very relaxing, as they start to relax then start to stretch them and move their legs, ears, mouth, toes, tail in a very slow natural stretch, think about you getting a massage. This develops a strong trust and a relaxing relationship with your dog.
You will also be able to feel any lumps, bumps, and find where your dog is sensitive and work on those areas, nothing should be forced at this point you are just asking them to relax and surrender to you in a very trusting releasing way. If you would like to learn more about this and watch a video on how to join me in my online custom e-learning dog training online at dogtraining360.com
Gardening: One thing that we forget is that our dogs like to smell and explore and do things with us. We call it gardening but our dogs think you are digging for fun valuable treasures. I like to get out with my dogs in the yard and explore with them. As I am planting and cleaning and getting ready for summer I like to put my dogs in the house and get ready for a few hours of exploring and finding things in my yard. I take raw bones, raw eggs, treats, toys that I can put treats or their dog food in and hide them around the yard. I then go get them and bring them out with me. I start to garden and watch them discover the new valuable things around the yard that they can do instead of digging behind me or getting into things they should not be getting into. We tend to get frustrated when our dogs get in the way or just want to get involved with what you are getting involved in. Turn the tables and when they find the egg and are proud of what they found praise them and find joy in their find. They will continue to hunt and find things as you are doing your things and this will keep them busy while you are gardening. You can also do this around the house while you are working. Hide of course not raw bones and eggs because that gets messy but things that are clean and valuable that they can find and explore in the house instead of trying to get you to play while you are working from home.
Playing Fetch: All dogs have some kind of a pray drive because dogs are hunters. Not all dogs understand the game of fetch. Most of the time dogs that don’t play fetch are dogs that are left to play on their own or with other dogs and they don’t understand that you like to play too. There are some pretty easy steps you can do to teach your dog the game of fetch, this is also a game of slow steady patience on your part. Step 1: Pick up all of your dogs toys, not bones and chew things but toys for a week. Step 2: Get a ball of some kind or a toy that is easy to throw and a toy that would mimic your dogs favorite toy to some degree. Step 3: Put your dog on a leash just your six foot walking leash. Step 4: Each day bring that specific toy out and have a play session with your dog. This toy is about you and your dog and playing “a game”, toss it, roll it and engage in a very close game of play. Step 5: when your dog picks up the toy pet your dog and rub them all over, keeping them close holding onto the leash and just praise them for picking up the toy. Pet them until they drop the toy and then end it there.
Step 6: Each day repeat until your dog is picking up the toy and bringing it to you for a good pet, then when they drop it keep playing with them a few more times, each time you will create distance with the play, you toss, roll or scoot the toy further away so they have to go get it and bring it back, using the leash and then dropping the leash as you toss the toy further away from you. This could take days, weeks or even months. After a week of the toys bring picked up introduce the toys back one toy at a time. I prefer to wait until my dog is playing fetch with me before I introduce the toys. Toys are about me and playing with my dog.
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As a dog trainer with over 25 years of training my goals are to help you learn all you can to be the best trainer for your dog. To have a true connection with your dog and understand their behaviors. I want you to understand how to live with your dog and help them be successful. During this time of the Covid19 we are home with our dogs because all of our resources are closed and it all lies on our shoulders. You are trying to work from home and keep your dog busy. Join me online and train with me. Let me teach you how to be at home with your dog during this time.