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Lesson Four

Attention on a Walk

Lets take the attention games out on a walk:

Now let's reward your dog while you are out on a walk.  The more you reward for voluntary attention from your dog the more your dog will offer attention and ignore the environment.

  1. Right from the start of the walk reward your dog for giving you eye contact.

  2. Keep rewarding your dog throughout the walk.

  3. This group is for dog lovers based in and around the villages of Cambridge were we can discuss all things dogs, give tips or recommendations on dog friendly places and meet up for a group dog walk now and then. 

Sit Stay


Once your dog can sit on cue every time. They are now ready to learn a sit-stay. The criteria for a sit-stay is that your dog needs to stay in a sitting position until they hear their release cue. Your release cue can be done, finished, go, release etc. I would avoid using the word "OKAY" as we tend to use that word regularly in conversation and what you don't want is to cue your dog to stay  while you answer the front door and during your conversation you say "okay" then suddenly your dog runs out the door. Also note that the release cue is not a recall. It is purely a signal to say you can move from that sitting position.

  1. Cue your dog to sit then reward.

  2. Say the word "stay" or "wait" 

  3. Take a step back wards.

  4. As long as your dog is still sitting, go back and reward them.

  5. Repeat step 2 and 3.

  6. This time say your release cue "done"

  7. Throw a treat on the floor slightly away from your dog so that they need to get up and eat the food reward.

Trouble shoot:

If your dog keeps getting up every time you try to take a step backwards, make it easier for your dog and lean back rather than taking a step back or stay in position and just move your body side to side. Once you can practice this a few times with your dog staying the sit position then to take a step backwards. Always go at your dogs pace. Don't rush and make it too hard too quickly.

Leave It

Leave it stage 1:

The first stage to teaching a reliable leave it cue is to condition the word. We want to teach our dog that when he hears the cue word "leave it" he automatically stops and looks at you. 

Step one:

  1. Say the cue word "leave it"

  2. Feed your dog 3-4 small treats one after another.

leave it cue is used to stop your dog from picking up something you don't want them to have. If they have already picked the item up then you would use a Drop It cue.


Adding distractions:

Place a bowl of low value food behind a baby gate or up high on a table. Make sure your dog can't access the food.

  1. Let your dog investigate the food.

  2. Say your recall cue.

  3. Mark the instant your dog touches your hand.

  4. Reward them generously for choosing to move away from the distraction.


Go to your bed:

  1. Scatter a handful of treats on your dog's bed/mat.

  2. Mark the instant your dog's paw is on the mat

  3. Lure your do into a down.

  4. Place a small handful of treats in between your dogs paws.

  5. Use your release cue to let your dog know they can move off their bed.

Adding a cue:

  1. Say your cue "bed"

  2. Mark your dog for having all 4 paws on their bed.

  3. Lure into a down and reward again in between their paws.

  4. Use your release cue to let your dog know they can move off their bed.

Encourage a relaxed position:

  1. Say your cue "bed"

  2. Only mark and reward once your dog is lying down.

  3. repeat steps 3 and 4 from above.


Downloadable work sheets:

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