Where Not To Train Your Dog
In the previous chapters, we have dealt somewhat with this topic. Let’s get into it a bit more here. As mentioned earlier, the most important message I can give you, is to pick a safe place to train. Not only for your dog, but for you also. It your attempt to find different locations to vary the training session, never train in unlighted areas at night, or any other place that you would not go to even if you were not training.
When you first start training, give yourself and the dog a break, and choose locations that are not frequented by birds, ducks, or other farm animals that have left an irresistible aroma. Your dog will be training with nose glued to the ground the whole time. Distraction is good at certain times, but this is too much for beginners. This type of place would be acceptable after your dog is well along into the training process, and you need special distractions.
Can’t think of any reason you might need to have your dog trained to deal with such a circumstance? Let me give you one. It’s a personal experience, but it didn’t happen to me only, so it’s not a one time aberration. Setting: Pacific Northwest Alaskan Malamute Area Specialty, many years ago. Sir Francis Drake Park, San Francisco, California. Springtime, early morning, ground damp with dew, slightly foggy (as San Francisco is apt to be). Novice B ring. Location of ring: On an island in a small lake with a wooden bridge connecting to the mainland. Name of island: “Duck Island”. Get the picture? This island was obviously chosen without consideration for dogs or people. Only the creature from the Black Lagoon should have been mixing it up with these ducks. They were everywhere, un-intimidated by the dogs or people. The term “obnoxious” comes to mind. The shore of this island (about 200 ft. in diameter), was coated in a lovely white muck. You get to imagine what it consisted of. The obedience ring was not a whole lot better either. You never saw more butts up and heads down in your life.
Well, this was a good example of, they, (show committee) picked the spot, you, (exhibitor) made the best of a bad situation. The show must go on. Where have we heard that before? You can bet, I had wished that my training had included a bit more duck pond training. As it was, I was one of the fortunate ones, and had trained in an area, at one point in time, where ducks frequented. A place some of you may know, Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley, California, with a couple of duck ponds. In reality, I had not trained there for that purpose, but it sure helped. High in Trial was special to come away with that day.
Now, to get back to the chapter heading subject. Don’t train at home. Give your dog a place of sanctuary. A place they are sure is away from the training. This is not to mean they should be allowed to become unruly at home. Just, that they need a”safe place”. You don’t want to know that your boss can call you at home anytime and have you do work at your house at the spur of the moment do you? Same type of thing, only not as reasoned out as that.
Never train where the distractions are too great for your dogs ability. Ability is defined for this purpose, as the point at which you have gotten your dog to, in training with distractions. You will know when this is happening. The training session will become diluted, and control will be frustrating to maintain. The session will become a battle of wills, and counterproductive. When this is the case, stop the session, and start fresh another day, somewhere more suitable.
Until you are far along in your training, never train where there are lose dogs. Not only your dogs ability to deal with them is in question in the beginning, but so is your ability. Even if you have trained other dogs, and feel reasonably sure of yourself, in a given situation, you still do not know what reactions will be with this dog, and you may have to react in a completely different way than prior experience allowed. This is yet another reason I subscribe to the premise, you never stop training yourself, and learning. Experience is a great teacher. Just don’t let experience give you a false sense of security when it comes to your dogs safety, and your own.
When Not to Train Your Dog
There are certain times that training should be curtailed. These times are sometimes the most elusive of all to not only understand, but to implement. It’s difficult for a trainer to admit that, “today, I am not capable of training” for some reason or another. It’s also difficult to say that in relation to your dog. i.e.:” My dog is not capable of learning what I am training today.”…read more
Varying The Training Locations
The old saying, “variety is the spice of life”, rings true in the world of dog training as well. Arctic breeds have a propensity toward “attention deficit disorder”, or so it would seem, sometimes. In reality, they just, plain, get bored with repetition, and redundancy, as do I, sometimes. Don’t you? In order to avoid this situation, there are several ways to keep your dogs attention…read more
How to Distinguish and Identify Dog Temperaments
As trainers, it is incumbent upon us to get to know our dog as well as possible. We need to understand their moods, reactions to specific stimuli, and the periods of their ups and downs. This includes everyday living experiences, not just during
training. These observations and understandings will help you in your training. Coupled with the above, is knowing what temperament you are dealing with. In order to deal with a certain temperament…read more
What to expect From Your Dog
Today, more and more, we find that people expect unbelievable feats of accomplishment from all aspects of life than were previously though reasonable. Many things contribute to this strain on humans and animals alike. Television, Movies, News Broadcasts, and sensational specials, depict animals in feats of daring, and performing acts that only the most advanced trainers should attempt…read more