Oftentimes, the best way to practice these behaviours is to practice one or two repetitions randomly throughout each day. Incorporating these mini-practice sessions into your normal daily life is the best way to generalise behaviours, but it also prevents your dog from thinking that the only time they should perform this behaviour is when you “look” like you’re training (treat pouch on, clicker in hand, etc).
Your assignments for this week:
- Work on your dog’s impulse control in the house and in low-distraction environments – Elevator, Say Please, Wait at doorways/curbs/corners.
- Watch for a positive CER (Conditioned Emotional Response) where your dog spots a trigger at a safe distance and looks to you, anticipating the food. Reward handsomely and throw a party! This will not occur in close proximity to a trigger so continue to counter-condition and get distance as you have been.
- If you are getting a CER fairly reliably (75% of the time and up at a safe distance), start playing the “Look at That” game with triggers from a safe distance.
- Consider tracking your dog’s reactivity so that you can see your progress as you work through these behaviours. (optional)
Your practice items from last week:
- Practice eye contact in the home and in other low-distraction areas.
- Practice 10-20 seconds of polite walking in low-distraction and medium-distraction areas. Remember not to expect your dog to walk “politely” if there is a trigger. We’re just not there yet!
- Practice 3 “find it“s per walk, randomly or at a safe distance from the trigger. Note how far away you are from the trigger and whether or not your dog is able to disengage.
- Practice 2 “U-turn“s per walk, randomly or at a safe distance from the trigger. Note how far away you are from the trigger and whether or not your dog is able to move away with you on a loose leash.
- Capture video of your work (if it’s safe! Best to have a friend or partner do the filming while you do the work.) and submit it for review so I can help you work out the kinks and give feedback. (optional)
- Submit questions via the discussion forum so that we can all learn together!