Updated: Mar 12, 2021
You just finished your last training session with TheTreat and are thinking, now what do I do?! Training takes time, patience and consistency. You will spend the first year of your dog's life shaping behaviors that are important to you. My first and biggest request of you over the next couple of the months is to keep training 5-10 minutes a day. That training time is good mental stimulation, it is a time to be consistent, and it is a time for you to have some fun with your dog.
Here are some additional tips for advancing your dog's training:
1. Make it Harder for Your Dog to Earn the Treat
When you find success doing a behavior, you will want to keep advancing that command. That requires you to redefine what the command means, how much the dog has to do, and when you say yes. It is important to go slowly, gradually make it harder, and keep building off of success.
Wait / Stay: Ask your dog to wait longer, with more distractions, with you leaving the room, etc.
Leash Walking: Ask your dog to walk next to you for more steps
2. Use Less Luring
Luring is a tool to help you get the dog to do a behavior. By using less luring, you are challenging them and making them think about what command you are saying. Challenge them by removing luring (going farther away from the nose) slowly.
Luring Guide: If the behavior is reliable, use less luring. If the behavior is unreliable, use more luring.
Example: Use less luring for sit inside of the house, use more luring for sit at a park.
3. Focus on Challenging Behaviors
You probably have some behaviors that your dog is really good at ... and some that they are not so good at. Like us people, dogs are always a work in progress. We train for the hard times. We build a foundation so when we want them to do something like sit when people into the house, stay off of the new baby, come from thirty feet away at a dog park, etc, they can do it. We have to start small and keep building off of success in order to get to the really high levels of training.
4. Teach New Tricks!
You learned to say 'yes' when your dog did what you asked them to do. You can apply this to any and all commands. You can teach paw, jumping, going through a tunnel, bow, sit pretty, shut the door, and so many more! Have some fun with it!
5. Randomize Treats
When a behavior becomes reliable, you can begin to randomly give your dog a treat. Always keep the communication. They will do the behavior thinking they are getting a treat. Remember the treat is the motivation, if they don't do the behavior without the treat after a few times, bring back the treat and keep working on randomizing. Furthermore, a behavior will be reliable in commonly trained locations such inside and outside your house first.
It is really important to not randomize treats too early. It takes months of consistent training for a dog to understand that a certain behavior goes with a specific command.
6. Keep Training
When we first met, I said I wanted to provide you with a sustainable way to communicate with your dog. Continue to keep the communication simple and your training sessions short. Training is a key part to a dog's mental stimulation and your bond with them. They like the direction, they like the treats, and you like a well behaved dog.
You should feel confident in your ability to communicate to your dog. You can do it! If you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out!