Going Back to Obedience Training – Days One and Two

We are on day two of obedience classes with Raiden at All Dog Adventures.  They have a unique flextime obedience program in which you pay for classes in months and advance at you and your dogs own pace.  The best part is you can go to class multiple times per week.  They have a very unique program that uses positive training methods and shaping good behaviors rather than using lure training or harsh corrections.

Shaping a behavior means making the dog figure out what to do to get the reward and rewarding the dog for doing something right.  The theory behind it is that dogs that are lured into position take much longer to figure out what they did right than a dog that has to figure out what to do and think about it first.  I have already seen that dogs figure out very quickly what they are doing right and continue the behavior for rewards.

Day one of classes was crate games.  By doing crate games, Raiden is learning to love his crate and to sit at every door before it’s opened.  Raiden had a little trouble with crate games when we got to the part where he had to sit when I put my hand on the crate door, but he’s figured that part out.  That’s the part Tucker is also having trouble with, but he is starting to get it as well.

Now we just have to work on staying in the crate no matter what distractions are introduced and building enthusiasm for running back into the crate.  Later this will lend itself to teaching them to kennel up from anywhere in the house or being able to tell them to go to their bed.  That will make it a lot easier to open the door for guests or calm Tucker down when he is being hyper or jumping on people.  Crate games will also make it a lot easier to put a collar and leash on Tucker and Raiden since they get very excited with they see the leash come out.  With crate games, they have to sit in there crate while I put the collar and leash on them.  If you want to learn more about crate games, here is a link: http://www.clickerdogs.com/crate_games.php

We are also working on It’s Yer Choice.  It’s a game the teaches the dog not to take things that have not been given to them, such as food that falls on the floor.  Raiden and Tucker are really catching on to this game very fast and we will look be progressing to the point where I should be able to put food on the floor and walk them over it without them trying to lung for it.  To learn more about It’s Yer Choice, watch the video: http://alldogadventures.com/2009/06/its-yer-choice-susan-garrett-video-by-cindy-briggs/

Other techniques we practiced in our first obedience class include:

  • Saying Hello – the dog sits while the instructors walks up and pets them.  She gives them a treat if they start seated.
  • Heeling Game – Reward the dog for walking a few steps on your left side.  Gradually increase the distance between rewards.
  • Recall – Work on rewarding the dog for coming when called.
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