|Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 2:11pm PST |
|I thought it would be fun to have a thread of quick tips, that don't take long to explain and have made you a better trainer. Mostly for selfish reasons
Here are a couple that have cropped up for me:
Pursuing food is calming and distracting for dogs. I like to pinch a piece of cheese between my fingers and have Smokey try to work it out during baths and when scary monsters are passing by. This one only works if your dog won't hurt your hand.
If a dog isn't already focused on you and doesn't always listen, make an attention getting noise, then call his name, then give the verbal command, then give the hand signal. I am guilty of saying SMOKEYCOME SMOKEYCOME and the four-step process works SO much better.
Freeshaping with nervous dogs is an art, but it's worth it for all the benefits in getting the behavior reliably, teaching future behaviors more easily, confidence, and relationship. If the dog freezes up and stops offering behaviors or walks away before you're ready to end the session, try sitting down, looking away, and yawning, or move to a different area. It also helped us to add a "good boy, try again" cue for behaviors that weren't what I was looking for and to get an iClick, which is a quieter clicker.
What would you add?
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