Is your dog wonderful—at home? But, when you get him out in a strange or different place, or around different dogs or people, do you wonder where that wonderful dog went?
Change of scene
If you take your dog(s) to classes, good for you! But, the same place every week becomes familiar, like home, to dogs. Try to go to different places. Practice Rally skills or simple sits and downs in a new location. A different park or different place to walk is sometimes very helpful.
If you do agility work with your dog, take a practice jump to a park and practice for just two minutes. Go to a new spot and just sit with your dog as people and dogs walk by. Take along your clicker and lots of great treats so that when your dog sees a stranger (dog or person) you can click and treat to communicate that new is good!
If your dog is unsure of himself in a new place, keep a comfortable distance from all the strange and new stimuli. Each week move a little closer to the people, dogs, or other things that are new and potentially anxiety-provoking. Let your dog tell you when he is comfortable.
It is easy to forget that one of the most important things to do with dogs is get them out!
Take your dog for a walk. Take your dog to the pet store. Take your dog to a different park or a different store. Show your dog that new and different is wonderful and rewarding!
KPA Training Tips of the Day are brought to you by Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partners. You can find more articles, ideas, and inspiration to help you train better and enjoy a lifelong bond with your dog on our website.