Week 4 – Fine-tune Focus
Calm, happy, focus is so often our training-dream; a dog who will respond even when there are distractions and who enjoys working in partnership with his person, in all sorts of situations.
We can achieve calm, happy focus in distracting situations with careful training.
By teaching your dog to focus in lower distraction situations we can continue to build on this success by carefully introducing slightly greater distraction levels in increments.
Disclaimer: this video was made for demonstration purposes only; Decker or any dog did not suffer any distress during or after this work – please don’t worry!
In response to trainers who show similar scenes with their dogs wearing training collars, shock collars or training equipment, this is a dog who has been worked and trained with rewards-based training – there are no training tools or treats or toys used here at all showing that dogs trained this way can work in very distracting situations, without ‘cookies’ and through choice.
What do I need for week 4?
- Training Mix, toys or other reward
- your dog’s collar and leash
- Kong toys or similar for pacifying
Week 4 Training Games
- Find my Face
- Go be a dog!
- Environmental cues for focus
- Adding and building distractions
What’s my dog learning?
- focusing on my person is very rewarding
- I learn that to access distractions, I can check in with my person first
- I can check in with my person even though I would really like to sniff, run around and explore and I can wait to access the things I want.
- My self-control is developing – I can’t have all the things I want, when I want them.
- Passing in or out of a door is a cue to check in with my person and wait patiently.
- Learning to stop and check in with my person will keep me safer.
Of course calm, happy focus doesn’t need to be a training dream – it can be a training reality.
You can download a more printer friendly, but abbreviated version of this week’s exercises here.