Week 3 Bonus Challenge

So Week 3 wasn’t tough enough? Let’s add some zen to your recalls!

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Today’s Games

Zen recalls teach your dog to choose you over all the other distractions in the environment – and if he does choose you he is rewarded with access to those very distractions.

Remember, distractions are just rewards that your dog wants but you would prefer he didn’t!

Time Allowance:
Practice for 1-2 minute sessions and then take a break. Have a few  sessions today.

Really do keep sessions short on these exercises! The self-control bank account depletes fast and your dog will need some time to recuperate so make sure to give them a good break too.

Family Participation:
This exercise is for adults only!

Once your dog can ace this week’s zen exercises, you can begin to introduce children so that you dog learns some zen with them too.

Always supervise child-dog interactions and make sure children learn to leave the dog alone when eating his rewards.

Top Tip for Today’s Training Games:
Make sure to set up the exercise so that your dog is successful.

Remember, if your dog gets stuck, think of ways that you can make it easier for him to succeed and then build again more gradually.

Zen Recalls

Beginner Level Challenge

Use your dog’s favourite toy or rewards in a little bowl.

Practice this game in a quiet place, so indoors or in the garden at quiet times.

It’s handy to have an assistant for this game, to place our distractions, but not essential.

Get set up with your dog on lead. Have the distraction placed at the furthest end of the space in which you work.

Approach the distraction and as soon as your dog notices it, stop and call your dog.

Move backwards, but only use the lead very gently if at all, encouraging your dog to come toward you and move away from the distraction.

As soon as your dog gets to you, say YES! and excitedly bring him over to claim his distraction.

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If your dog has trouble with this, it’s important to make it easier so that we don’t do any damage to his current recall behaviour.

Try this if you dog gets stuck:

  • use a lower value distraction
  • don’t get as close to the distraction before calling
  • use a lower value reward as distraction and a higher value reward to give when your dog recalls:

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Advanced Level Challenges

As your dog progresses, start to add some of these to your training:

  • ask your dog to recall progressively further from the distraction
  • remove your dog’s lead or use a long line instead, so that you can restrain him only in an emergency
  • toss the distraction and ask the dog to recall to you

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  • toss the distraction and ask the dog to carry out obedience behaviours before getting access to the distraction

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Go for it!

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