Can your dog obey you anywhere?
So you have trained your dog to sit in the kitchen
And he also does it in training class.
And sometimes at the park too.
But will he sit at the beach?
At a fun dog show?
When there is another dog close by?
If the answer is no to the last three questions, then you need to work on proofing your dogs behaviour.
What exactly do I mean by proofing?
I don’t mean the baking bread kinda proofing! (Okay, okay I watch too much Bake Off!)
Proofing is the last stage in dog training when you make sure your dog can listen to a command anywhere.
Including a variety of different locations.
With big, big distractions.
And also at varying distances.
Does your dog have the 3 D’s of dog training?
Proofing takes practise.
All too often I see dogs walk so nicely on lead in class, and the second they leave they drag their poor owner across the car park!
So proofing means practising always.
Not just when your trainer is watching.
Practise in the park.
In the supermarket carpark
At the pet shop.
Everywhere is a training opportunity.
Dog’s don’t generalise well.
If the environment is always the same, then they will learn to only do a behaviour in that environment.
Just because your dog does a trick in your kitchen, it doesn’t mean he will do it in your friends kitchen.
Not unless you teach him there.
Proofing dog behaviour needs to take place in as many different places as possible.
And as early as possible.
It’s really part of the , and will set your dog up for life.
I recently had a man in my class who couldn’t understand why his dog would only come back when he was sitting or crouching. Never when he was standing.
After a short chat, he told me that he spent the first 3 months crouching down to his tiny pup, teaching him recall.
After some serious digging, we realised that he had never rewarded the dog for coming back to him while he was standing.
He would only stand to reprimand the dog for not coming back, and crouch down to reward him.
His dog learned to stay away when the owner stood up! Hows that for discrimination?!
Get out of the routine
Next time you go out for a walk, take a different street.
Explore a new patch of grass.
Stop at a dog friendly shop or pub.
And spend 5 minutes training your dogs commands in a new environment.
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