So last time we looked at what kind of scenarios and environments that Angus would need to be able to cope in. Now I’m going to cover what kind of skills and behaviours I think would be useful for Angus to be able to be comfortable and well behaved in these situations. This list will serve as my overall training plan on the exercises I need to practise with Angus.
Settle in a car
Settle in a crate?
Settle on a mat
Settle underneath my legs (keep out of way while sitting in restaurant for example)
Stand or sit between my legs (keep out of way while standing about)
Look at me
Pee on cue
Walking without pulling (for general use)
Close by heeling (for navigating past people and inside hotel)
Walking up flights of stairs or riding an elevator (not sure where room is in hotel)
No jumping up
Keeping him clean (boots to prevent muddy paws? Wearing a coat for prolonged periods, towel drying, blow drying)
For my next blog post I will be looking at one of these skills and breaking it down further so you can see how I would go about teaching that behaviour. Each behaviour needs to be initially taught so the dog understands what we want them to do and create the association between the behaviour and the hand signal and/or voice cue that we want to use. Then each behaviour will need to be proofed and generalised - this means we need to teach it and use it in many scenarios and build up distractions in levels so that the dog can become fluent in that behaviour no matter the situation.
Some of these skills such as settling in a car will require more so behaviour work of desensitising, classical conditioning and counter conditioning rather than just training work. Don't worry if you don't know what these terms mean as I will explain as I go along. And as training progresses things might change, I might decide to add different exercises or change them about - being flexible is important as we should always adapt our training to fit our dog's personality as well as strengths and weaknesses.
Hope you enjoy following along with our training!
Our 6 week training courses have already started in Carrickfergus but if you’d like to do some training with your dog our next set of puppy and adult classes in Carrickfergus will be starting Friday 23rd March (Book your dog's spot here) , we offer 1-2-1 training in your own home, solo training walks and we are looking into holding drop in classes in Newtownabbey on Saturday mornings. Get in touch if you’d like to book any of our services!