BML1–Class #4

14February 2015

Basic Manners — Level One, Class #4

Such Good Dogs Basic Manners Class #4
Basic Toxins for Dogs:
Grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chocolate, over the counter drugs.
This means to your dog, you can’t have that and/or don’t pay any attention to that.  Teaching your dog this cue will help develop your dog’s self-control and keep him safe.
When teaching this cue, we first want to get the behavior before adding the cue word.  Get the dog to do the action 2-3 times, then add the word.  Teaching this command requires using both hands.  In one hand you will have something tasty the dog will be asked to leave alone.  Your dog should NOT get this item at this time.  In the other hand you will have your rewards.  Never teach Leave-It/ Take-It.  Doing this teaches your dog to leave something alone for a second, then they get to take it anyway.  When teaching Leave-It, NEVER give your dog the thing you are asking them to leave alone.
Start with both hands behind your back.  Present your hand with the forbidden item.  (Make sure that once you place your hand out, you do not move your hand).  As the dog moves towards the item/hand, say “Leave It.”  As soon as your dog pulls his nose away, give your “Good,” switch hands, and reward with a treat from your reward hand.  As with any training, as your dog gets better, you make the exercise more difficult.  Progression of Difficulty for Leave It:  item to leave alone in your closed hand, item in partially open hand, item in open hand, item in open hand on the ground, item on the ground.
Look / Watch Me:
After practicing the Basic Look: going from the dog’s nose directly to your eye, we will begin to make the exercise more difficult.
The T Position:  Start the exercise the same way.  Put the treat directly in front of the dog’s nose, say “Look” as you are bringing the treat up next to your eye.  But now, when you reach your eye, extend both arms out into a T position.  When the dog looks back at your face, give your “Good” and treat.  When making an exercise more difficult, first start with the easier version (the one the dog has already performed well), then move directly to the harder version.
Means to a dog:  Stay in this place until I come BACK TO YOU to release you.
Means to a dog:  Stay in this place until I ask you to do something else.
ANOTHER CUE will follow the wait command.
First you must start by teaching a proper Stay command.  Do not move onto teaching the Wait command until you have trained the Stay command in all 3 parts.
3 Parts to the Stay Cue:
1.  Duration (time)
2.  Distance
3.  Distraction
Release Cue:
This means to a dog, you are now free to do what you want.  Common Release Cues include:  Break, Free, & Go.  I highly discourage owners from using “Okay” as a release cue.  This is a very commonly used phrase, and your dog may be randomly released by a passing stranger.  Use commands that are not common in every day speech.
To teach the Stay cue, put the dog into a Sit position next to you.  Teaching the Stay is another command you will need 2 hands for.  One hand will be giving your stop sign hand signal while the other hand delivers treats.  Put the leash under your foot to work without the distraction.  For this, you will also need a Release Cue.  Basically, you will rapidly feed your dog treats to remain in the Stay position.  We are teaching the dog that remaining in a Stay is highly rewarding.  As your dog is chewing the last treat, give your “Good,” then quickly give your Release Cue while turning on your heels and walking away.  Do not worry if your dog does not immediately follow.  After a few practice sessions, they will easily pick up the Release Cue.
To improve the cue, gradually make the dog wait longer between treats.  At first there may only be 1-3 seconds between treats.  As your dog improves, start making it harder and harder by making the dog wait a little longer between rewards.  Do not go too fast.  If you feel the dog is going to break the Stay, either treat them before they move, or release the dog before they release themselves.
It is VERY IMPORTANT to build up time before adding distance or distractions.  Building up a reliable Stay with time will make it easy to transition into training distance and distractions.  You should be able to get your dog to Stay for at least one minute before moving to adding distance.  Work on improving only one part of the stay cue at a time.  First duration, then distance, then distractions.
Loose Leash Walking
Look/ Watch me, both Basic and the T position
Sit & Auto-Sit, Down, and Up
Come when Called, all 3 steps
Leave It

Stay & Release Cue