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To get the dog off to a good start, the
handler will begin by allowing free access to the loved item and give praise and
reinforcement to the dog for choosing to
interact with it in some way.
For a dog who is reluctant to move between
two objects that are close together, we increase
space between the objects. Or, we can create
a setup with two shorter items. A food lureinvitation, or tossed treats, can be used to
invite the dog into the space between the two
gates. This is repeated until the dog is willingly
choosing to pass between the two objects.
As I discussed last month, it is essential to allow the dog the opportunity to say "no" if they
are not comfortable with the space between the
two gates. Always remember to focus on your
dog's experience of the process, rather than a
particular desired outcome. It is perfectly fine
if it takes some time for a dog to become comfortable with passing between two objects.
Boone enjoys putting his paws up on
the tall bucket, so that is where
Stephanie begins their training session
Next, the handler will move the dog
away from the loved object to an object
with which the dog is less interested in
interacting. At this point, the handler
might place treats on the object, or use a
lure or target to invite the dog to choose
to engage with the object in some way.
Any effort on the dog's part is reinforced.
Immediately following exploration of the
less-desired object, the dog is given access to the loved object once again.
Allowing frequent access to an object that
the dog enjoys exploring can be as a bit
of a mental break after several minutes of
working through more of a challenge, and
this can help keep the dog's enthusiasm
and motivation up. This structure can be
helpful to the handler, as well. Seeing frequent willingness and curiosity from the
dog can help the handler maintain a positive, supportive, and confident attitude.
Sample Exercises for Confidence
Move Between Two Objects
This might seem like a rather easy skill,
and for some dogs, it can be. However,
I have continuously been surprised to
observe that many dogs are initially reluctant to move between two objects that
are close together. In class, I will create a
"chute" made from two ring gates, and it
is not uncommon for a good many dogs
to balk and try to avoid the chute when
they first encounter it.
August 19 | Clean Run
Progress with developing a greater comfort level will vary from dog to dog. Some dogs have
little space sensitivity and will pass between
two objects readily. Other dogs will need to
work their way up to two items close together.
Once a dog is willingly passing between two
objects, more of a challenge can be presented
by working with taller items, or with two
items that have a narrow space between
them. This setup can also be presented to the
dog in different environments and on different surfaces.
Put Paws on an Object
As Ruger gets more comfortable
moving between the gates, Jen
gradually closes the gap.
Exploration of objects with paws can be a
fantastic confidence-building exercise. When starting, we will present something flat,
such as a board, or a small piece of foam, and use reinforcement to build the dog's desire to put paws on it.
This is accomplished by creating a setup where the object on the floor, directly in front
of the handler. The handler will toss a treat out and away, and the dog will set up by
running out to get that treat. Once that treat is eaten, the dog, who knows that the handler has more treats, will return, and at least one paw will "land" on the object. The handler praises and reinforces that, and then tosses another treat to begin the process again.
Upon figuring out that "landing" on the object with at least one paw makes treats happen, the dog will typically begin to offer some kind of touch with one or more paws.
Once a dog is stepping on a flat object, walking across the object, or standing on the
object, new objects can be introduced to provide more of a challenge.
Challenge can be added by using objects that are larger, raised, narrow, different shapes,
or different textures.
Boone offers a bow with his paws on the tub, and Peter chooses to sit on it.
Clean Run - August 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - August 2019
Clean Run - August 2019 - Cover1
Clean Run - August 2019 - Cover2
Clean Run - August 2019 - Contents
Clean Run - August 2019 - 4
Clean Run - August 2019 - 5
Clean Run - August 2019 - 6
Clean Run - August 2019 - 7
Clean Run - August 2019 - 8
Clean Run - August 2019 - 9
Clean Run - August 2019 - 10
Clean Run - August 2019 - 11
Clean Run - August 2019 - 12
Clean Run - August 2019 - 13
Clean Run - August 2019 - 14
Clean Run - August 2019 - 15
Clean Run - August 2019 - 16
Clean Run - August 2019 - 17
Clean Run - August 2019 - 18
Clean Run - August 2019 - 19
Clean Run - August 2019 - 20
Clean Run - August 2019 - 21
Clean Run - August 2019 - 22
Clean Run - August 2019 - 23
Clean Run - August 2019 - 24
Clean Run - August 2019 - 25
Clean Run - August 2019 - 26
Clean Run - August 2019 - 27
Clean Run - August 2019 - 28
Clean Run - August 2019 - 29
Clean Run - August 2019 - 30
Clean Run - August 2019 - 31
Clean Run - August 2019 - 32
Clean Run - August 2019 - 33
Clean Run - August 2019 - 34
Clean Run - August 2019 - 35
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Clean Run - August 2019 - 37
Clean Run - August 2019 - 38
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Clean Run - August 2019 - 40
Clean Run - August 2019 - 41
Clean Run - August 2019 - 42
Clean Run - August 2019 - 43
Clean Run - August 2019 - 44
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Clean Run - August 2019 - 46
Clean Run - August 2019 - 47
Clean Run - August 2019 - 48
Clean Run - August 2019 - 49
Clean Run - August 2019 - 50
Clean Run - August 2019 - Cover3
Clean Run - August 2019 - Cover4