Fabulous Focus

Mariah Hinds blog post:

Imagine this. You are talking on the phone to your friend and telling her a story that’s really important to you. She seems really interested in the story and is giving you great feedback when suddenly she isn’t listening anymore and she starts talking to someone else. You wait patiently for a few seconds for her to return but those seconds go on and on and soon feel like forever. You say something into the phone and get no reply and then the line goes dead. How do you feel? You might feel sad, disappointed, or not valued as a friend. If it happens once you might be able to overlook it, but how would you feel if this happens repeatedly? Would your enthusiasm for sharing things with this friend be dampened? Read more…

Here are some options for how to tell your dog that the training session has paused:
  • Cue the dog to go to a particular location and stay there until cued to resume training. Reward the dog once the dog arrives at the mat, bed or chair.
  • Cue the dog to go to their crate. Reward the dog once the dog is in the crate.
  • Have the dog lie down and step on the leash and periodically reward the dog for remaining in the down or for relaxing.
  • Cue the dog to put their paws on your leg and pet the dog.
  • Kneel down and pet the dog while you are talking to the instructor between your training repetitions.
  • Give a verbal cue that training has ended. This can be done either in combination with an environmental cue such as one of the options above or without. I prefer to give an environmental cue in addition to the verbal cue as often as possible.

Here are some options for how to tell your dog that the training session is finished:

  • Cue the dog to go to a mat, bed or chair and stay there. After the final repetition, send the dog to the location, reward the dog and then release the dog from the location.
  • Cue the dog to go to their crate, reward the dog, then release the dog from the crate.
  • Have the dog lie down, then cue the dog with “all done” or a similar cue after the last repetition.
  • Put a leash on the dog and exit the training space, then cue the dog that training has ended.
  • Give a verbal cue that training has ended. This can be done either in combination with an environmental cue such as one of the options above or without.
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