The Two-Treat Method

$1·        This is a great way to work through distractions plus have your dog pay more attention to you. Have two treats in your hand. Praise your dog, now give one treat from your hand while you back up so that you are farther away from the distraction. Then give the second treat. Your dog is likely to run back to you instead of heading to the distraction. What a deal! Remember your reward should always be higher value than your distraction

Don't worry if your dog fails. Failure is a natural part of learning. Remain calm and resist the urge to yell "no" or physically move your dog around. Instead, follow this procedure:

$1·        Go to the distraction. Pick it up. Talk to your dog about it. Admire it together.

$1·        And then put it back.

$1·        Go to the same place you were before and ask the dog for the behavior again.

$1·        If your dog fails again, make the task just a bit easier.

$1·        For example, you might stand closer to your dog, or move the distraction a bit farther away. Or if you asked for a stay, you might change your duration from five seconds to three seconds.

If your dog fails three times in a row, stop. The task is too hard for your dog. Go back to the previous step or find a way to make it easier for your dog. Ask yourself the following questions:

$1·        Did you use a low enough value of distraction?

$1·        Are you using a higher value reward?

$1·        Does your dog KNOW that you have a higher value reward?

$1·        And this is the big one: are you SURE that your dog knows the base behavior in that environment when no distraction is present? If your dog does not know the command, you can repeat it till the cows come home, but you will not achieve success.

Each training session should be 5 minutes long OR LESS. Training should be fun, so don't keep going unless both you and your dog are enjoying it. You can repeat a lesson up to (but no more than) three times in a day. Ten minutes a day is an excellent target. 

If she's not having fun, that training session has not been successful, no matter how well she performed! Work smarter not harder.

Submitted by Marion C. O’Neil CPDT-KA, CTDI Owner and trainer of Molasses Creek Dog Training, LLC Quakertown

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New Classes Starting:

Focus with Distractions    12/18 Mon. 7:00 p.m.

Puppy I Manners                 12/16 Sat. 12:30 p.m.

Teenrover/Adult-Manners   12/18 Mon. 6:00 p.m.

Novice Trick Dog (NTD)             1/13 Sat. 10:00 a.m  

AKC Canine Good Citizen   1/14 Sun. 1:00 p.m.       

 

Check the calendar for more scheduled classes!