Training during COVID-19 lockdown

Making the most of lockdown....

As there will a high likelihood that you're NOT going to be fighting for space at the park with other dog's and their owners during level 4 lockdown, it's an ideal time to do some training with your dog - by safely venturing out!

If you've been a proud fur kid parent teaching foundation commands such as "Touch", "Leave", "Stay" or even practising loose lead walking at home, think about taking the same commands and training out at your local park. The distraction factor (other dogs, people) is likely to be lower.

A reminder that all mandatory social distancing requirements during any lockdown level should be adhering to.

One of the most common things we get asked is "Why does my dog listen to me at home but not when we go out?". The simple answer is because the out-of-home environment is so much more interesting & stimulating. The sights & smells are fresh, new and from a dog's point of view - enriching.

So how do you get your dog to listen to you when out? By training, practising & rehearsing in different locations progressively helps your dog to follow commands in environments with varying levels of distraction.

Have fun with the session. Some simple examples could be:

  • Sitting with your dog and letting them observe the world go by - teaching them to be calm and settled when out.

  • Or asking them to leave the leaf/ball alone that just flew past - impulse control.

  • Play distraction games when they see another dog (or even birdlife) in the distance - focus.

  • Go back to basics and ask for "Sit", "Lie down", "Stay" or even recall (using a long line).

Remember that you are competing with the environment when you do this. The challenge will be for you to work out how you can be more interesting! Dogs love rewards, so along with your stash of high value treats, make sure you also shower them with play and affection when they offer the behaviour you asked for.