Play During and After Training Session
It is important to play with your dog by doing something that you both enjoy. Try to avoid leaving your dog alone and idle. Not only will you prevent many behavior problems, you will also develop a quality relationship, and tight complicity with your dog, all this while you are having fun!
If the dog knows that there will be a play period after training, the dog will volunteer to the training with pleasure. There exist many popular dog games: “FETCH AND GIVE” is the best, closely followed by “HIDE-AND-SEEK”, and “FIND THE OBJECT”. If you take just a few minutes with your dog after a training session to play with him, the training will be more pleasant for both of you. Use games as reward; if, for example, your dog executes a command, you can play with the rope you have been using as a training tool. As the leader of the pack, you must recuperate all objects used for play at the end of the session. This way, the dog will understand that games will unfold according to your specifications and will end the same way, with you recuperating any object used for play. So, we urge you to use the technique so the sessions will be pleasant for the entire family.
Generalization: Practice the commands in many different places where there are plenty of distractions. Go to the park, or to a place where the dog is likely to be distracted to consolidate the commands. People believe that when someone is present, the dog never listens. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If you practice regularly, in different public places, your dog will be exposed to all sorts of circumstances where commands must be obeyed. During obedience training, it is important to simulate situations where it is likely the dog will not listen to the commands.
In order to find out if the command has really been learned, place the dog in specific contexts and give him a command. For example, tell your dog to "STAY" in the backyard where there are no distractions. Then, go to the park where distractions abound, and check if the dog has assimilated the command by executing it well. The objective behind generalization is not to provoke errors, but to show a dog how to successfully execute a command anywhere, in any situation. A dog in the generalization stage has not yet completed his training.
Therefore, when you introduce your dog to a new environment, expect that the dog will not perform as well and as quickly as in the comfort of your own home or backyard. Use new environments to show the dog that he can perform as well in any environment as he can at home. The generalization principle dictates that you vary the stimuli so as to be able to control the dog in any circumstance.
The beginning of generalization
- Practice the command in a room, at a short distance, lure in hand.
- Always in the same room, have someone else (a family member) practice the command.
- Practice the same exercise, this time in a different room, and increasing the distance between you and the dog.
- Change family member and practice in all the rooms, increasing the distance without lure in hand.
- Redo all the stages, using different distractions: step 1, sudden moves; step 2, an object is thrown; step 3, someone arrives, etc.
- Practice the exercise in an outdoor area, free of distractions, and gradually increase the distance between you and the dog.
- Start over, using distractions which are natural, such as dog passing in the street, a friend arriving at your , many people moving around, etc.
- Practice the same exercise, this time at a friend's , with great distance separating you from your dog, and plenty of distractions.
- Practice the same exercise in as many places, creating as many scenarios as possible.
- Continue to practice the same exercise with other family members.
The more you practice a command with various people. In different places, introducing distractions, the faster the dog will reach a plateau. When this happens, the learning has been consolidated.