Sometimes your dog can be so frustrating! You’ve trained them to come when called or to walk next to you nicely on leash, but now… they won’t do it!
Is your dog “blowing you off”? Is it just that they won’t LISTEN!?
No. Dog’s don’t blow you off and they are always listening – really.
It could just be a simple step in your training that is missing. Sometimes you need to break a step down even more than you would ever think to get the results you want.
This morning, I came to this realization with a skill that I need when I run my dog on the agility course. A simple – seemingly simple – skill but very very powerful. And I NEED it!
So watch this video and learn how forgetting to break down a skill to the smallest pieces might be holding you back and get some better results with your dog.
Then comment below and let me know if it’s a revelation for you too!
I do not know how to make it successful for my dog when she likes to grab anything she knows she should not have and runs I use to treat her to drop it but now I think she does it for the treat I can not let her out of my site. It is getting worse not better
That makes sense… you taught your dog to steal for treats. So trading up for something better is a good game and can be for treats or for other toys, for example, but then you also need to teach drop it (drops whatever is in mouth at a distance), leave it (don’t touch it) and give (put that in my hand). They are all easy to teach but a little different. Set up training sessions to teach these. Also, make sure nothing is in her reach to run away with – I know it’s not fun to do that but every time this happens – even if for attention alone, you are reinforcing the behavior. You are teaching it and it will become automatic and habitual to get your attention regardless if there is a treat involved. Yelling is attention too. So #1, dog proof your home. You would do this for a baby and for now, you need to for your dog. :/ but it’s not forever! #2 – teach leave it, drop it and give. Make these trainings fun so your dog gets the attention they want and then has even less motivation to steal.
I need specific examples of how to break down wanted behaviors. How do I break down come, barking, jumping on people, or running a fence line and barking at people and other dog?
Hello Katie, these would take too long to answer in a comment or a short video. I go over how to do this in my membership and courses. But you can be a little creative and do it by thinking of what each skill requires. So, for example, with “come” or a “recall”, your dog needs to be paying attention, usually to look at you and then to come to you. So you work on a head turn first – your dog isn’t paying attention to you so you say their name. As soon as they turn to look at you, you click (I use a clicker to mark behavior I want or you can say “yes” but the clicker is more effective/faster – I love faster! 🙂 Once your dog turns to look at you every time you say their name, you can increase the distance and/or the distraction level. Then once you have that down, still click but instead of going to your dog to give them the reward, you wait for them to come to you for the reward. You can click for them coming. Once you have that mastered, you can stop clicking until your dog comes to you. If they don’t come, no matter, try again later. Once you have that, you can add the word, “Come” or whatever word you wan to use. Now you do it several times a day and there is more but too much for a comment. Get started there and you see how that is broken down? If that isn’t enough, you break it down further – maybe head turn but they have to also look at you for example. For some other things you mentioned, those are behaviors you want to change so you need to prevent that behavior and then teach a new one for example. Does that help?
I teach novice agility at a local dog club. Not only breaking the desired action into little steps will help, but it all comes down to communication. I firmly believe that a dog will sniff, bark, look away, etc. if they don’t understand what we want. But for them to want to communicate with us….it has to be fun!
I totally agree, Johnnie! Understanding is key. Thank you for commenting.