Monday, November 2, 2015
Our Top 3 Favorite Things to Train while Exercising! Positive Pet Training
Hi everyone! I hope you're all having a great day! Today I wanted to share with you our "Top 3 Favorite things to Train" while we are out exercising. If you've followed my blog at all you will know that one of my favorite parks that I take the girls to for exercise is over 1,000 acres and all but one of the trails is off leash. It's great to be able to allow them to run free but with that freedom, there is also great responsibility. I have to make sure that my dogs are able to listen to me from (sometimes) a great distance. We are always training and it is very rare that you will ever see me without my treat bag ready to reward for good behavior.
The most important thing I train would be their Recall. We work on our recall every single time we go out and I call them a bunch of times and then release them back to the environment. They are never sure when the fun will be over, so they're more likely to come back if they get to come back and then are released to go back to doing what they want to do (premack). I also reward them any time they choose to come back to me without me having to call them.
You don't have to have a 1,000 acre park or be off leash to work on recall. I would actually recommend starting to work on your recall indoors without any distractions and then progress to working with a long line (you can buy them in multiple different lengths) and in a low distracting environment outside. I actually started training them in quiet ball field and empty dog parks before they ever graduated to the big park.
The second thing that I train while we are out is their Wait (or stay). This one is important to me for posing them for photos but the uses are endless. I can have them wait discretely off the trail as other dogs pass or when we run into horses. I can stop them from running up to people, dogs and horses and I can stop them from going into the river if that's not what I am wanting them to do. I also use it so that they don't door dash. Wait is just a great "impulse control" behavior to have on any dog and we work on it all the time.
The third and final thing I work on every single time I attach a leash to my dogs is Loose Leash Walking. Loose Leash walking is one of my biggest pet peeves and my girls are far from perfect at this particular behavior. So we work on it all the time. I'm always prepared to reward them for walking with slack in the leash and I also try to pay close attention so that when the leashes get tight they are not reinforced for pulling. The dogs do not get to go where they want if the leashes are tight. LLW is one of the hardest things, in my opinion, for dogs to figure out, especially dogs who are really into hunting and smelling the scents like mine are. So we work on that any time the dogs are attached to a leash. To keep LLW fun and interesting, I have them do silly little tricks to keep their attention on me. In the photo above, I'm having Phoenix jump up and touch my hand.
I love working on training stuff while the dogs are exercising because it really does kill 2 birds with one stone. I can get so much done and they are tired both physically and mentally! It's totally win win!
Do you train your dogs while they are exercising? What do you have them do?
Today is the Positive Pet Training blog hop and this month's theme is Training and Exercise but as usual any positive reinforcement training posts are welcome. Be sure to visit the other blogs and see what they are up to this month!