This video shows my young dog Dice in a field with active gophers. I want to work. He wants to dig them up. Here you’ll see a combination of distraction training with my Stages of Engagement. I want him to choose to opt-in but that’s not easy under these circumstances.
Over the course of the video you can see him start to understand, make better choices, and eventually, come to be able to work on top of the gopher holes with attention.
This training is far from over. We will repeat these steps and games in many locations with various distractions over a long period of time. Eventually, it will be a habit to turn back to me when he finds things in the environment which suck him in.
The nice thing is that once the dog is mature and the work is done, it really is done and rarely needs to be refreshed. This is all part of developing an attitude of cooperation in our young dogs – from the earliest foundation skills all the way through competition readiness.
If you’re not familiar with my Stages of Engagement or Engagement work in general, search this blog and you’ll get a solid overview. I will also be teaching two webinars on April 1st, 2021 for FDSA; one on pre-engagement strategies and the second on “Engagement 2.0”, which incorporates my more recent thoughts on the topic since I first began teaching Engagement several years ago, Both are repeats, so if you’ve seen them, no need to sign up again!
Enrollment will open mid-March. I will remind you here, so if you’re not subscribed and if you want to attend, please consider doing so!
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Very good training ideas and thoughts. I have been following you for a while and always learn something new! This specific routine will be helpful for my young gsd. Thank you!
Hello! Thank you for this really useful and informative article. Now I understand I need to train with my dog much more. I have a beautiful GSD who is heads and tails better behaved than our GSP ever was BUT our neighbors are terrified of him. I like your training videos and am looking specifically for boundary training. Our neighbors threatened to call the police if he enters their yard & we share a property line. Ugh! And we really don’t want to put in a fence.
this is a challenge for sure – boundary training is complex, takes time and assumes that you are there to observe. You may wish you consider keeping your dog inside, or in a fenced-off area within your property.