Don’t fight your dog for their focus
Picture this; you are out and about having fun playing games with your dog, really enjoying the training session, and then all of a sudden a really interesting smell gets their attention and they go off task for a good old sniff! In these situations, it can be very easy to start nagging your dog for their attention so that you can carry on with the game you are playing. Here’s the thing, fighting your dog for their focus won’t lead to a dog who truly values engagement with you.
Wait… for their focus
If your dog does check out and goes self-employed, so long as it’s safe to do so, wait them out. Wait for them to lift their head and orientate to you and when they do, make a big deal! ‘Oh hi! You’ve been missing out! I’ve been having lots of fun over here this whole time!!! Shall we continue?!’
Is the environment too tough?
When you are out and about, if your dog checks out quite often during training sessions and playing games with you, consider whether you are setting your dog up for success. Is the environment you are working in too tough right now for your dog? It’s OK to acknowledge this and go back a couple of steps and work in an environment in which your dog is going to win.
Management should always be part of your training as it helps to stop, or at the very least, limit rehearsal of the behaviours you don’t want your dog to do. With this in mind, as you progress with your dog’s training and start to explore new environments with them, we highly recommend using a long line. Long lines, clipped to the back of harness (never onto a collar) are great tools to limit the choices that your dog can make. It also gives them freedom to make the right choice that you are looking for. To free up both hands, a great tip is to step on the line rather than hold it.
If you need help with a dog training struggle that you just can’t seem to crack why not look at coming along for a dog training holiday here at Bowerland where our super awesome trainers can help you to come up with a training plan so that you can turn those struggles into strengths.
Visit our website for more info on ways we can help: www.devondogs.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. If you’d like to combine a holiday with dog training, check out our training packages HERE. Check out more of our Thursday training tips HERE.