Now that your dog is reliably responding to the "let's go" cue. You can add in some distraction to proof the behaviour. You will need two different values of food reward for this exercise. Ideally your dog's kibble and some high value treats.
Scatter some dry food on the floor.
Let your dog eat it.
As they are just about to finish.
Say your cue "lets go."
Mark the instant your dog turns to look at you.
Reward your dog with the high value food once they are back by your side.
Once your dog is reliably responding to the cue at home with different distractions you can start to use it on your walk with real life distractions like sniffing a lamp post for example.
Loose Lead Walking
Now that you have practiced your loose lead walking at home and in the garden you are ready to take it on the road. Make sure you have lots of small treats.
Start rewarding your dog for staying by your side every second step
Then slowly add more steps in-between food rewards.
If your dog starts to pull quite a bit, reduce the amount of steps in-between rewards.
Let your dog sniff and reward your dog for choosing to re-engage with you. The walk should be slow and relaxing for both of you. Don't rush it.
Adding distractions and distance:
Now that your dog is going onto their bed on cue, you are ready to add distraction and distance. This helps to proof the behaviour. When we ask our dogs to go to their bed we want them to learn to stay there no matter what is going on in the environment and also to learn to go to their mat when you are standing a few meters away from their bed.
Use stuffed Kongs or long lasting chews:
By giving your dog a stuffed kong or long lasting chew to have while they are on their bed this will help to encourage your dog to stay on their bed while you are eating your dinner.
Click here to see how to fill a Kong for beginners
Basics of a stop on cue:
Teaching an emergency stop is a very useful cue to interrupt your dog from running towards something. It could be a busy road, chasing wild life, other dogs, people etc
Place a treat in your hand.
Put your hand up.
Say the word "stop"
Throw the treat behind your dog.
Hold your hand up.
Say the cue "stop"
Wait 3 seconds.
Throw the treat behind your dog.
Hide and seek recall is a fun game to play with your dog. It also teaches your dog to find you when you are out of sight as well as allowing them to use their nose.
Start the game in your house.
Hide in the next room and call your dog.
Make a big fuss of them and reward them with food or with them favourite toy when she finds you.
Play the hide and seek game in the garden and then practice it out on your walks.
Did you know that mental stimulation is just as important if not more so than walking your dog? Yes I said it! MORE important than the walk!! Don't get me wrong taking your dog out for daily walks is important and your dog needs physical exercise but too much physical exercise can be a bad thing.
You would think if your dog was hyper then taking them out on a long walk is the best way to tire them out. However the more exercise your dog gets the fitter they become. To begin with your dog might be absolutely shattered after an hours off lead walk, but after a few weeks you notice that an hour just doesn't cut it any more and your dog is still climbing the walls. So then you end up taking your dog on a long walk, a run and 30 minutes of ball chucking!
Use your dogs daily meals as enrichment. In the video I run through a few different ways to use food dispensing toys. Here are the links to the enrichments toys used in the video:
Disclaimer: the links below are affiliate links.
Kong wobbler: https://amzn.to/2RopXvY
Snuffle mat: https://amzn.to/2RoNCwo
Other great enrichments toys:
Licki mat: https://amzn.to/2Rwz7aG
Buster cube: https://amzn.to/2ALlLwM
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