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Hi!

 

For people who think that training classes are boring or repetitive, here's what I have done recently in my Advanced "Fun and Games" Obedience Class:

 

1. Mini agility course

2. "Dog treat race": Owner sucks a light-weight dog treat onto the end of a straw, and walks their dog to an orange cone and tries to drop the treat in the hole in the top. The person with the most treats in the cone in the time period "wins". (Pixie did well with her walking, I did "not so good" with getting it in the hole. She quite enjoyed that game!) The idea is to distract the owner from what the dog is doing, to see how well the dogs do loose-leash walking when they aren't being micro-managed. The answer: very good.

3. Tennis ball catch: Teams of two. Put your dog into a down-stay. Blindfold one owner, and give them a bunch of tennis balls. The other owner stands some distance away, with a butterfly net. The blindfolded person throws the balls, the other person catches them. If a dog breaks the down-stay, you have to stop until they are back down. The team with the most balls "wins". This works your dog on down-stays around some serious distractions!

4. "Bondage recall": the owner is "padlocked" into a chair (rope placed around the legs and chair, and padlocked together) and blindfolded. The trainer takes the dog across the room, scatters toys between you and the dog, and places a key for the padlock on a string around the dog's neck. You have to call your dog to you, get the key off their neck, get them on leash, and un-padlock the rope, all while staying blindfolded. The person who does it fastest "wins". This works your "emergency recall", and getting your dog secured in challenging circumstances.

5. Chasing call-offs: you get your dog to chase a "lower-value" treat/toy, and then use your emergency recall word to bring them back to a higher-value one. This is meant to provide practice in recall even when presented with a highly desired moving item (i.e.., cats, squirrels, etc.) It takes a lot of practice at home, and two people, so I haven't done it as much as a I should.

 

"Wins" is in quotes, because you don't really get anything for being first/fastest/most in whatever. But it is a lot of fun, and takes your mind off of stressing over things like "is her sit straight enough" or "oh no, she took a step out of line when we were doing loose-leash walking!" By distracting the owner, the dogs often do much better. Which is why I try and work my dogs as much as possible in "fun" things, instead of just repetitive drills. Emergency recalls in the yard for dinner, mixing up sits with spins and downs and shakes, etc.

 

So, if you are thinking of training your dog, my best advice is to find a class where people look like they are having fun. If you had asked me, 3 years ago, if I would ever be paying as much as I currently do for training classes, I would have looked at you like you were crazy! But it is really a great way to bond with your dog(s), and can, as I have hopefully shown, be a lot of fun too!

77f6598d-2.jpg

My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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Guest Nycelle

That sounds like a lot of fun! Is there a franchise/chain/name that I could look up?

 

Just because these are very important skills, learning them doesn't have to be deathly boring & serious.

 

thanks!

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Neat class!

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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That sounds like a lot of fun! Is there a franchise/chain/name that I could look up?

 

Just because these are very important skills, learning them doesn't have to be deathly boring & serious.

 

thanks!

 

Unfortunately it's a local class (J9sK9s, down in Canoga Park, CA). But if you were looking for something similar, I'd see if I could find a Control Unleashed trainer in your area. Or at least one that says that dog training should be fun in their ads/websites. And then, go watch some classes, and see if people are having fun or not.

77f6598d-2.jpg

My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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Guest Nycelle

I'll check into Control Unleashed- all I want is for Hillary to be well behaved and have good recall.

 

We live in a busy downtown, and we have to walk everywhere, and spend a lot of time socializing in cafes, shops etc. Since she is one of two greys in the area, people do notice her, and I want her to be a good neighbor!

 

Thanks!

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