Thursday, March 24, 2022

FAD Workshop - Day 4

Welcome to Day 4 of the FAD Workshop!

The number 1 distraction among those who registered is other dogs and today's information is focused on that issue!  At almost 2 yrs old, Azul's biggest distraction is new dogs entering into our environment so we practice remaining calm often.  Check out today's video for more information about training exercises you can do with your dog around other dogs. Then check out the games below!

Here is a Google Presentation on Exercises that shows you how to do 2 great exercises with your dog with the help of a friend with their dog.

Magic Hand Game

Food dropping: with your arm bent at a 90° angle allow the dog to move on it’s own and drop a piece of food from between your fingers. 

Don’t worry if they don’t catch it right away. They will learn. 

This teaches the dog to follow your hand.

Whip It or Flirt Pole Fun

You can buy a flirt pole made for dogs or a horse lunge works nice for large dogs.  But you can also make a homemade flirt pole with a rope or old leash.  The idea behind this game is to build value for playing with you, the handler, by extending your reach out further away from your body so that your dog has to chase the toy more enthusiastically.

If I'm teaching this game to a house with older kids, we make a homemade version of attaching a soft tug toy or soft webby ball to about 6ft of rope.  The kids can run dragging the rope behind them and add in some quick turns or gentle swings of the rope toy.  If you are not a runner, or plan to play this game from a chair, you can attach the rope to an old broom handle, rod, or stick to extend your reach farther.

The first thing I do is work on getting that On/Off Switch we discussed previously in this workshop.  Your dog will get amped up with this toy, so don't punish them if they struggle with the drop or stop cue you've previously taught.  Just be patient and wait them out.  If the toy stops moving and you stop tugging, typically the dog will get bored and drop the toy allowing you to play some more.  

Practice this arousal up, arousal down exercise with simple cues until it becomes easy for your dog to follow your cues.  Then you can add in more advanced cues to help your dog focus on you more.

Be careful playing this game!
If you're dog is spinning to fast or making quick direction changes, they could injure themselves.  Be sure to play at a speed and difficulty level safe for your dog!

Also be careful to avoid tangles with the line that could injury your feet or your dog's feet.  The first thing I teach my dog is an "All Stop!" cue so that if a tangle starts we can fix it ASAP and then play some more.

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