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Teaching the New Obedience Dog: Time to learn some new skills!
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I often hear people complain that “playing with their dog is fun,” and “obedience training,” is not. Have you tried the skills described in my last two messages? Have and your dog had any fun practicing them?

The skills introduced in my last two messages include: Sit, Down, Come, Front, Finish, Kennel, Place, Fetch, Spin, Touch and Stay. More important than the skills you have introduced to your dog are the principles that you applied to practice them. These principles include luring, using a conditioned reinforcer, and moving away from a reward to earn a reward. If you have been practicing “Come” on your long line, your dog is learning that a tug on the leash means “pay attention.”

It’s time for your dog to learn some new skills.

Circling the Cone

Teach your dog to circle a cone using your conditioned reinforcer. This skill will reinforce the principle of moving away from a reward to earn a reward.

Introducing the Back-up

Obedience dogs need to maneuver their bodies into precise positions. Watch the video “Introducing the Back-up” for some ideas for teaching your dog to back up. Thad and Nick are struggling with this skill, so over the next several sessions Renate and I will show you several different techniques.

Using a Toy as a Distraction and a Reward

Introduce the concept; that sometimes the same object that you introduce as a distraction can also be a reward. Watch the video, “Using a Toy as a Distraction and a Reward” to see how we introduce this concept. In this video you will see how Thad and Nick learn that sometimes they must ignore the toy or treat, and other times the same toy or treat can be earned for offering the correct behavior.

Come Dragging a Long Line

There is nothing more important than a dog that comes when called. Watch the video, “Come Dragging a Long Line” to continue practicing a come using a long line.

Heeling, Part 1

Finally, introduce your dog to walking and looking at you while using the concepts of luring and rewarding. This is the first step in teaching your dog to heel. Don’t be concerned if your dog is not walking in perfect position. What is important is that your dog understands that he will be rewarded for walking and looking at you at the same time!

When you begin with a plan, starting a new obedience dog is not difficult. Practice the skills I’ve described and demonstrated in this message and the previous two messages in this series. During the next six to eight months, Renate and I plan to introduce Thad and Nick to all of the obedience exercises, and you can to.

Do you have any questions? Have you encountered any problems? Let’s get together to talk about how to get a new obedience dog started.
I am planning a a webinar on September 12th to discuss the skills and concepts I’ve introduced so far.

 I will be sending you more information about the webinar very soon. In the meantime, mark your calendar for Sept 12th at 7:00 p.m. Connie

Have fun teaching your dog obedience skills!