Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Take Your Training Everywhere! Dog Training Milton

 Two dogs in a down/stay to the right, child feeding some wild birds to the left, squirrels running around, and hikers passing by;
training in a real life situation.

The key to a well trained and well behaved dog is consistency, we all know that. However, consistency must be taken everywhere you take your dog, not just inside the home or inside a training hall.

I constantly tell my students that training should go with you everywhere. Dogs are very contextual creatures, so they "get it" where you practice and where you are consistent. But they need to be refreshed and reinforced in new situations, with new distractions in new areas because things are, well, new. Just because your dog can down stay in the living room for 20 minutes, doesn't mean she's going to down stay on your hike for 20 minutes, let along 20 seconds if you haven't practiced there.

Everywhere you take your dog should be a new training opportunity. An opportunity to teach them that the behaviour that they know in the living room, also applies to the forest, the cottage, downtown, the car dealership, the bank, on walks, the park, on hikes etc. You need to practice in all of the locations that you take your dog, and sometimes, depending on the distraction levels, you will have to take some steps back to create success, in order to move forward and make it clear to the dog. And it is perfectly ok to have to back step in order to succeed. We all have to do it at times.

So get out there and practice - practice everywhere that you want your dog to behave and set them up for success when you're out and about.

Happy training!

 The nuthatch in hand at Hilton Falls Conservation area.

A good time in the woods.