Where to Train Your Dog
As indicated previously, your locations of training should change as often as possible once you have finished the initial process of getting your dog comfortable with the training procedures. There are certain rules to follow, which can make your training sessions go much easier, and also help to keep your dog interested and attentive.
Socialization is of primary importance in any training. You need to look for places where your dog has the opportunity to be distracted, and at the same time be safe. This is not as difficult as it seems, but sometimes takes a little creativity on your part. This is especially true, depending on your location, and access to particular areas to train.
Let’s take for an example, a shopping center. Great place, many distractions, people to socialize with (only when you invite your dog to do so), noisy, confusing, multiple activities, etc., to either interact with, or ignore. (Again, only as you prescribe.) This type of location is usually next to parking lots, auto traffic, bicycles, foot traffic, and lose animals (dogs – cats). Great training place, as long as training is restricted to on
leash work only. Off leash work should only be done in a closed, secure location.
To train for off leash work in a busy, dangerous area, such as a shopping center, parking lot,and similar places, use of a light-line is recommended. This should be of a material that the dog will not readily know is attached to the collar, and yet be easy for you to handle. A fine filament, high tensile strength fishing line usually works, as long as care is taken at all times in respect to location of the line (in-attentiveness can lead to the line rapping around the neck or other areas).Also, it is wise to wear gloves, to keep your hands from being cut. Remember, you may need to exert some force at some point in time for control in an unexpected situation. Always be prepared for these unexpected situations,
no matter how well your dog is trained.
Time of day should be a consideration as well. People have an internal clock, which make certain times of the day better than others, for being sociable, learning, etc. Dogs have something similar. One dog may be more susceptible to training “suggestions” in the morning, and another later in the day. You will have to determine where your own dogs peak trainable periods are, and adjust accordingly.
Now your all saying, wait a minute, when I enter an obedience trial, they’re not going to accommodate my dogs best time of day to let me test. That’s true, but we’re speaking of training here, not obedience trials or matches. We’re still back in the training mode. After your dog has been worked for a few weeks, you can start to move the times around, and train even in their off periods.
The suggestion of training during their peak times, is for the start of training, and will help immensely with the training process. If you make it easier for your dog, it will be more fun. If it’s more fun, they will enjoy doing it more. If they enjoy doing it more they will learn faster. If they learn faster, it will not become boring, and you will feel better about the training. If you feel better, your dog will sense it, and perform better, and if they learn faster, they will not burnout before you get to advanced obedience or some other type of training. They also will tackle the further training with a better attitude, remembering the previous training was fun.
Above all else, temperature, climate, weather conditions should be taken into consideration in training. If it’s too hot, don’t train. A training session in a climate that is oppressive will usually lead to a dismal outcome. Both you and your dog may be on edge from the heat. If your dog is sluggish, you may react in a negative manner or at least feel negative about the dogs performance. Your dog is very intelligent, and will pick up on your disappointment, regressing further into a poor performance. Since you dog can not understand the reason for your strange vibes, it will confuse and even further reduce
the performance. It’s hard to end a training session like this one on a good note, and that it a must.
Letting yourself get into this situation is not acceptable. Your dogs training can be set back by sometimes three fold. In other words, for the one bad day, it may take you three days of regressive training to bring the dog back to the same point you were at when you tried to push a training day you should not have. Do the math. If you would have waited that one day, you would have been at least two days further ahead in your training. This situation happens to many trainers that make a schedule in advance, and are not flexible. Sticking to the schedule is of paramount importance for one reason or another. It’s just not worth it. For additional information concerning related topics,
see the “When Not To Train” page.
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…read more
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