WORKSHOP: Handling Disengagement from Engagement
Disengagement is what happens when a dog starts out checked in and then… Disengages! A dog who appeared properly acclimated, opted into work, and then…poof! Changed their mind! Found something better to do! Got worried about the dog around the corner!
So…what do you do when your engaged dog hears a sound and stops working to stare at it? What do you do when your engaged dog spies a cookie on the table and decides to head in that direction instead of focusing on you and the work at hand?
As with so much of dog training, it depends. It depends on the dog you are training and the circumstances that led to the disconnect. But what you do not do is Nothing. Because if you do nothing you are incorporating disengagement into the behavior chain of work, and you really don’t want to do that. Kind of…never. Remember, remaining engaged is a habit and the goal should be to stop disengagement while strengthening the habit of engagement.
This workshop is all about disengagement. We will start with a quick review of the trained process of engagement, and then consider in depth what to do if the dog then disengages. This workshop will focus on rally, freestyle, and obedience in particular, and therefore the working spots should be taken by people in those sports. Individuals from other sports will benefit, but will have to take greater responsibility for creating their training path, and will be better suited to auditing spots.
If your dog has issues with disengagement after engagement, either frequently or only on occasion, take this workshop and learn about the pros and cons of different approaches, so that you can create a plan of action.
Note: This workshop assumes knowledge of basic engagement training. While this topic will be reviewed briefly at the beginning of the initial workshop lecture, it will not be an extensive discussion. If you do not have this information, please consider purchasing Denise’s engagement webinar as a prerequisite or take her self-study engagement class.