Feeling isolated? Here are some recommendations for some easy tricks and behaviours you can work on at home to prepare your dog for the real world.
*If your dog is excited about breakfast but goes out to potty first, use this as a chance to practice coming when called. After they do their business, use your special re-call cue, and run back into the house right to where breakfast happens – jackpot reward!
*Set foundations for polite walking by practicing in the house. Take a big step and reward your dog right by your side (where you’d like their nose to be when you’re walking on leash). Then take two big steps and reward. Continue to work your way up until you can walk room to room.
*Ask your dog to go to their bed and stay while you do a household chore such as wash dishes, do laundry or sweep the floor. Reward them periodically.
*Work on teaching the trick “spin” by using a lure to turn your dog’s body in a big circle. This trick helps your dog clean off their feet when they come inside!
*Do some “Puppy Push Ups” by moving your dog from sit to down to stand, using several small treats (as lures if necessary). This will improve your dog’s physical fitness as well as helping them understand the differences between the different words.
*Have a family member help you practice “Leave It” by holding different kitchen items that your dog shouldn’t have while you hold them on leash. Say your cue only once, and then wait -rewarding them from the treat cupboard when they eventually turn away from the distractions. This is the “Look But Don’t Touch” game 🙂
*Practice using a Hand Target to move your dog from room to room as a game. You can ask for several hand touches in a row, or a longer sustained touch while you walk!
*If your dog has trouble settling in your yard, go outside and do a treat scatter or provide a food toy while you relax with them.
*If you are working on crate training, set your crate up right next to where you relax in the evening to watch tv/read etc. Being right next to you when you’re being relaxed and in one place can help your dog learn to settle when confined.
*Practice room to room re-calls: call your dog and make a little pile or lickable reward. While they are eating, run to another room, give them time to finish eating and then call them to another bonus reward – repeat as needed!
Success Tip: Keep small containers of treats around the house or in your pockets so you can train at any time!
If you’re looking for help with these skills or even more challenges to keep your pup busy, contact me for online training and support!