Welcome back to the Trainers Ring! With warmer temperatures upon us, it’s time to get your spring training plans on track.
Warmer weather brings a lot of joy to life with our dogs, as well as its own set of challenges. Between the fresh smells that were hiding under the ice and snow, the new baby wildlife venturing out into the world, and the temptation to let our dogs enjoy time off-leash – the springtime can reveal whether or not we did our training homework during the winter. Fear not, though, it’s never too late to brush up on those much needed skills in order to enjoy the beautiful spring season.
Training reliable recalls:
Recall games: http://www.clickertraining.com/node/309
Recall around distractions: https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/become-more-exciting-than-a-squirrel-teaching-a-reliable-come-when-called/
Training ‘Leave It’:
Fledgling hopping around on the ground? Picnic leftovers in the park? Our dogs need to be able to divert their attention away from these exciting temptations. Emily Larlham teaches the ‘leave it’ cue in two helpful videos:
So maybe our dog is too quick and we miss the opportunity to use ‘leave it.’ The ‘drop’ cue is our next tool in the box.
We know that object exchanges can teach a good drop behavior, but have you considered conditioning the word without your dog even having any thing in his mouth? See this video:
Greeting Other Dogs:
Warmer weather means more dogs out and about, and more opportunities for dogs to meet each other, both on-leash and off. This article helps us navigate on-leash greetings:
Switching gears away from weather-related training, an interesting study was recently published about the connection between dogs and their owners when it comes to nervousness and the ability to handle stress. As trainers, we know most of our work is about empowering the human client, and putting them at ease when it comes to navigating training issues with their dog. This article discusses the possible connection between our emotions and our dog’s emotions:
I hope this gives you lots of ideas for filling up your spring training schedule so you can enjoy the sunshine, blooming flowers and warm air with your pooch this spring!