Okay, so far you've been avoiding triggers whenever possible, and every time they happen notice a trigger. shovelling snackies into your dog's gob, as we say back home.
It's really easy for us to stay in management-mode or the Land of Avoidance. It's more peaceful and less stressful in some ways, isn't it?
My hope is that your dog's general stress levels are coming down as a result of this "Cortisol Vacation", making them far more resilient to stressors, able to learn and retain information and training, as well.
Let's start sneaking around, finding those triggers at safe distances, of course!
Every walk is an opportunity to find a trigger, create an awesome association, and put all that you've learned into play.
A few reminders:
- Distance is your friend! You want to be at a safe distance where your dog doesn't feel threatened so that they can learn and retain.
- Trigger-stacking is very real! If you overdo it, you might find that by the fourth or fifth exposure, your dog is uber-stressed. Short and sweet is best, followed by a nap, some play, or some chewing.
Keep working on your disengagements cue - "find it" and your "u-turn" 2-3x per walk when there are no distractions. Remember that when we train a new behaviour, it's not going to work in "the real world" with distractions for a little while.
Reminder for next week:
Next week will be our "breather week" where no new assignments will be given as these first few modules are heavy, heavy, heavy! You'll need some time for implementation.
What you will see in your online course is a "bonus" module where there are some interviews that I think are super interesting and would be really helpful at this stage.