Now let's get to work planning our first mission! By now, your dog should be managed daily and hopefully, you are seeing a reduction in their general stress levels. This is where we can start to create Missions for foundation work.
Training should occur (ideally) once per day, five days per week. Give yourself two days off per week where your dog is managed and you're not working on this - it will help to prevent caregiver burnout!
There is no data that shows that doing these missions more than once per day increases the speed of resolution, so that should hopefully alleviate some of the urgency and pressure.
As with any structure, the foundation is the most important part as it upholds the rest and it stabilises. If we skip this part or do a less-than-fantastic job, we will still be able to build on it, but we will certainly find that the foundation is cracking later on and there will be much work to be done to patch it up.
The first step is to build a strong base around the pre-departure cues and you may be surprised to know that we are not yet leaving the house! Getting ready and going to the door is likely stressful enough for your dog and causes them to follow you, I'll bet!
When running a mission, here are some pointers:
Set aside approximately 30min of uninterrupted time. Be prepared to ignore phone calls and messages.
Complete your daily Data Tracking
Get your family together as everyone must be out of the house - no hiding in the basement or in a bedroom. Your dog will know someone is home. If you would instead do this alone and send your partner out with your kids, you can do that! Whatever works!
Potty your dog and be sure that there are no stuffed food toys/bones lying around.
Test your technology, and have your steps ready.
Once you're ready to start, sit down and be boring for 2-3min before you start so that it's more of a cold trial than looking like "a training session" or an event to your dog. We want it to be as normal as possible, remember?
I'm going to give you your first steps so that you don't have to do a ton of heavy lifting this week. (You're welcome!) You'll see the Mission in the "Exercises" lesson.