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Getting the most from your dog training classes
I want you to enjoy your classes and also to achieve the best results with your dog.
Practise makes perfect – in class!
The more training practise you do with your dog, the better the results. Use your class time constructively – the more repetitions you can fit into the class time, the better your dog’s responses will be. It’s also a great chance to practise with the distraction of other dogs present.
Practise makes perfect – at home!
Week by week we can tell who’s done their homework and who hasn’t. Training sessions can be easily fitted into your daily routine even if you are very busy – try to fit in just one or two minutes several times a day. Practise the exercises while waiting for the kettle to boil, the dinner to cook, or during the advert break of your favourite tv show. Integrate training into your every day life and you’ll reap the rewards.
Keep your dog motivated.
Some dogs may seem distracted in classes, especially at the outset, simply because they are not used to having to concentrate when other dogs are about. Use really tasty food to get your dog’s attention – pieces of cooked chicken, hot dog sausage, cheese, or even cooked fish if your dog has a delicate tummy.
Train in lots of different situations.
Once your dog understands an exercise, such as sit, down or “leave it”, it’s essential to practise it in lots of different situations. Start with different rooms in your house, then build up the level of distraction slowly by moving to the garden, then the pavement outside, in the park, your local high street. Remember that once the presence of other dogs or people are bought into the equation you’ll need to motivate your dog even more.
Use your clicker.
Your clicker is the best training tool you have – take it everywhere with you (just remember to always back it up with a food reward)! Using the clicker will speed up your dog’s learning of new exercises and while you don’t have to use it forever, make sure you have the exercise nailed at all levels of distraction before putting away that clicker.
Don’t wait until the last week of the course to tell us about a problem you’re having with your dog or to ask a question related to a specific exercise. Ask as many questions as you like throughout the course or ring/email me in-between classes. I want you to get the best possible results, as well as enjoying the classes too.