I just wrapped up with a family who has multiple dogs, pugs actually. I was taking them through a basic obedience course where the dogs were learning how to walk on a slack leash, how to come when called, and how to stay.
I’m a pretty technical person when it comes to training during these sessions. I want people to know the nuts and bolts of making any of these drills work.
One of the things that were helpful for my client was for us to be able to use some of those drills, the place-stay drill, in particular, to solve some problems. When my client sits down for a meal, the thing she doesn’t like is one of her pugs insistently scratches at her leg trying to get food.
If you’re looking to improve your dogs place stay, here’s 5 ways to improve that
What they started to do is have one dog out, and they will train that dog while the other dog would be put away in the crate any time they had dinner.
What I showed her, is we sat down at the table, brought the place bed into the same room, and then put the dogs on there. Once the dogs were on there, I just did what we’ve always done with the place training. I rewarded the dog for being where I wanted it to be.
I did have leashes on the dog and I actually wanted the dogs to come off of the bed. That’s not because I like the dogs to make mistakes, but I like the dogs coming off so I can show them that it is a mistake. This allows me to put the dog back and not reward them when they make the mistake. As we sat there for the next 5-10 minutes, the dogs begin to see “oh if we stay calmly on the bed, we get rewarded.”
Whatever it is you’re doing, don’t just have training sessions to teach your dog skills, unless you’re competing in some competitive obedience or something like that. When it comes to household manners, what you want to do is take the skills you’ve taught the dog and incorporate those into your lifestyle.
So for instance, when you’re cooking, don’t shoo them out of the kitchen, show them where you want them to be. Send the dog to the target spot within the kitchen and out of the way. When they have that right, give them a good reward like a small piece of the food you’re cooking, while they’re on the target.
When you do that with human food, you’re not going to teach the dog to have the expectation that they will always get that. What they will learn is you’re rewarding. You could easily do that with some of their treats or dog food.
So yes, it’s important to drill, it’s important to practice, but it’s even more important to incorporate those drills and practices to solve the real issues you’re having with your dog.
I hope this is useful. If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to text me at (832) 734-5189