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Training exercises for dogs - Answered by J. Sansregret

January 16th, 2004, 08:01 PM
Does anyone know of any good heeling excersizes I can do with my dog? We get bored when we only do figure 8s.

We would also like to know any good sit, stay, and down excersizes we could try.

We really like to do fun training together and want to improve :)

Lucky Rescue
January 16th, 2004, 09:25 PM
When I'm out with my dog practicing heeling, I go really fast, slow, stop abruptly and make lots of turns to keep her interested.

In the house (if the weather is bad) we play "Find It". I get some treats and hide them around a room. I put my dog in a "Sit" or "Down" and "Stay" while I do the hiding, then tell her "come" and "find it".

She just loves this game and it makes the obed drills fun for her!

January 18th, 2004, 09:02 AM
I do like Lucky...
Also, does she like tug, toys or balls? You can incorporate those to make it more of a game, so she has to do something in order to fetch, or get a quick tug game, or whatever.

Another thing I'm doing is teaching hand signals, and distance signals. So I throw something, when the dog is coming back, I can give him a hand signal to down (in competition parlance this is called "drop on recall.") It's funny how you almost have to re-teach a command when you're 30' away, it's not the same as doing it when you're right in front of them! These are not adding commands, just changing the context.

I've also recently found a really good playground & park; during the winter there's rarely anyone there. So I'm teaching the dogs tricks on playground equipment now!

Of course there's always organised activities you can take classes for in fun, like tracking, agility, flyball, etc. :)

Lucky Rescue
January 18th, 2004, 11:42 AM
It's funny how you almost have to re-teach a command when you're 30' away, it's not the same as doing it when you're right in front of them!

Oh, I read something funny about this! Anyone think your dog has rock-solid obedience commands?

Try sitting or lying on the floor and giving the Sit, Down, etc. commands. Very interesting!:D

January 18th, 2004, 02:41 PM
I do think he has "rock solid" obedience commands. I'll try it......

Yes he does;) but he tries to lick me when I lay down. This is very, very, funny!

I'm just kind of wondering about the tug of war though. My dog doesn't challenge me now. He might have tried to challenge me a while ago, or it might have been just a hard stage of puppyhood. I'm not sure what it was, but could it have been the tugofwar game that we used to play?

Yes, Bentley loves to play with balls. We used to have a hard time getting him to fetch, but after a long time, the hard work paid off! We'll try some of these excersizes, but Bentley is trained to come back to me, which is ingrained so much into his head, that we'll have to work on this only a little bit. Also, we do the "find it", which we do sometimes, only we do it with toys.

Bentley also loves to go down slides. Hahaha. We always amaze the little kids at the park.:D

We also do hand signals.

January 20th, 2004, 07:53 AM
I just tried the commands while lying on the floor too. Cooper did it no problem, Dutch gave me a LOOK before he did (Dutch is kind of a stinker) and Daphne did too, then she got anxious & belly crawled to me on the down to lick my face. :rolleyes:

Spoiled...playing tug will not cause a dog to try climbing the ladder. It can actually a good way to teach a strong minded dog to play nice AND obey, by ending the game, teaching drop, sit, down etc whereby the dog is rewarded with a quick tug game on compliance. I bet Bentley was just going through his teens :) old is he & what sort of dog?

Lucky Rescue
January 20th, 2004, 10:51 AM
When I tried the lying down commands with my Chloe, she looked at me as I were nuts, but she did it. She only had trouble with the "Sit" from the "down" position.:p

And Spoiled, Carina is right about the tug. This is my pit bull's favorite game in the world, and she tugs like mad and growls ferociously while doing it.

As long as you start and end the game, it's fine. My dog has a very good "Out!" and will instantly release anything she has in her mouth. I periodically give this command during our tug games, and the instant she releases, the game continues.

Since my dog is very submissive and soft, I occasionally let her win too. If she had a harder temperament, or challenged me, I would not let her win.:D

January 20th, 2004, 12:46 PM
How do you let them win?:D Bentley is a Poodle X, and is almost one year old. Speaking of Poodles, is it usual for them to have severe underbites? My dog does:(

January 20th, 2004, 01:25 PM
Dog takes toy and finishes game = dog wins.
You take toy and finish game = you win.
Dogs are pretty concrete in their thinking, they think the above is so. :)

I have one who needs to be kept in his place, and one who had a very bad start to life. It took her a whole year to get the confidence to play tug with me.

Have no clue on underbites, I don't know a heck of a lot about poodles specifically.

January 22nd, 2004, 04:52 AM
hehehe, LR, both our dogs are submissive towards me when I play tug of war with them...

in the end, if I win, we tackle them too... ;) :D

we have TONS of fun together!

January 22nd, 2004, 09:35 AM
OK that makes it easier. I was thinking it was something like that. Is is appropriat to growl while their tugging? I'm not sure, because couldn't this be a sign of leadership or something? :confused:

January 22nd, 2004, 10:17 AM
Nah, growling's a big part of the game! Mine sounds like angry grizzly bears when they play.

Now if he gets a real hard stare, bares teeth, raises hackles, etc...that MAY mean he's taking it a wee bit too serious. You can pretty much read his body language. I bet that's not the case though.

In the event someone has a dog who is getting real aggressive about these sorts of games, IMHO it doesn't do any good at all to just stop playing it. Better to teach him some game ground rules. :)

January 22nd, 2004, 05:11 PM
Thank you. I was getting a little bit worried for a while. No, he doesn't bare his teeth, raise his hackles, or stare at me, so I guess I'm safe for now:D And he only growls when I "growl"!;)

January 23rd, 2004, 02:02 PM
here's a fun little experiment.

when they're playing like that, leave the room... you'll see that the growling noise is reduced significantly!

they only growl so loud for our attention and approval!


January 27th, 2004, 11:43 AM
Hi ,

You could easily add chairs, humans and other obstacles into the routine. You can also add all kinds of distractions (noise, location etc) into this scenario and teach the dog to heel regardless of what's going on. MIX up the routines too so the dog doesn't get bored or find the training too predictable.

Make sure you give your dog rewards it loves (food, toys, praise) for a particularly challenging routine.

Julie Sansregret - AHT, Dog trainer
Guides Canins
1313, rue PineRidge,
St-Lazare-de-Vaudreuil, Qué.
J7T 2M7 (450) 424-1469

Lucky Rescue
January 27th, 2004, 11:48 AM
Hi Julie! Wow - nice to have your input!:D