To improve all Cues: we will apply a Reward Grading Scale.
This means that you must know what your dog likes best. For this scale, we will reward with a low level treat for an okay performance of a command. As the dog improves on each command, the training grade is higher, and therefore the reward should be greater. A Jackpot Reward means giving the dog several treats quickly after performing a behavior exceptionally well.
Practice and improve on your game of fetch.
Rules of Fetch:
- Dog must Sit.
- Dog must Look.
- Dog returns toy.
- Dog drops toy.
Drop It/ Give:
Practice Drop It and/or Give with your dog.
Once the dog has the toy and is engaged with it, present a treat or reward of equal or higher value than the toy, as the dog drops the toy, say “Drop.” It is very important to give the reward to the dog AT THE SAME TIME as you pick up the dropped toy.
To practice, start with food the dog likes, present the food and say “Take It.”
Move up to using items to practice.
Start with the Basic Heel position, the Stationary Heel.
Use your left hand to food lure the dog into the Heel position at your left side. If you need, take a step back with your left leg to encourage the dog to move. Once the dog is in the Heel position, practice a Sit and Look.
Food lure the dog, now turn your body so the dog is now on the left side in Heel position (use the treat in your left hand).
—Always begin and end every Heel exercise with a Sit in the Heel position.
—When you stop moving forward, move your baited hand UP slightly to initiate Sit.
—As you are moving forward, the treat should be held up slightly from the dog so she is looking for it. Gradually progress to moving your hand all the way up to the Look position.
Greeting a Stranger while walking in Heel:
You and your dog will walk up to another person with their dog. To start, the dogs will be on the outside. Begin walking in Heel towards each other; when you meet in the middle you will both stop, have your dogs sit, and then the humans will say hello. Then you will give your “Let’s Go,” and continue walking in the Heel position.
Come When Called, adding Distance & Distractions:
Practice Come When Called with various distances & distractions.
- Say the dog’s name and Come, one time only.
- Have a party.
- Lure (or gently lead) the dog back to you.
Stay, adding Distance & Distractions:
Practice Stay with various distances & distractions. Stay means to a dog, wait here until I come back to you to release you. Stay always means you are coming back to the dog to release him.
Wait, with Recall & Long Line Leash:
This is similar to the Stay command, but different. Wait means to a dog, stay here until I give you something else to do. Wait is usually followed by a Come command.
Practice Wait with Recall and Wait with a Long Line Leash.
*Always remember to use positive reinforcement training methods, combined with energy balance. Dogs want to please and are capable of learning almost anything you might want to teach. Be patient and consistent with your dog.