Training Wally To Stay Focused While Excited | Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer: Blog Edition

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Training Wally To Stay Focused While Excited

One thing we haven't worked on in a long while is Wally staying aware of my instructions even though he's super wound up and excited. It's been a LONG time since we've had some good running and chasing and that probably was part of why I ended up getting more zoomies and less focus.

After a while, I did start to get some measure of focus, probably once he realized I was actually make a sound that wasn't a bark or a growl! I think if we start working on this more, we'll be able to get some more control and awareness together even while he's about as amped up as possible. I will also try to include this during indoor play, especially during our "morning play ritual" now that he's super into it and even whining at my door to get in so the fun can start.

What I'm going to start doing is using a lot of stationary cues or controlled movements (including the "go arounds") which is probably the LAST thing he's going to want to do, which means he'll have to get himself under control. I'll probably throw in the "rapid cues" game we play, which will make him have his mind (and ears) open and being aware to what behaviors I'm calling out.

Increasing the excitement even further will be the fact I'll be giving out bread balls for correct responses. The rewards will be things he loves (running and food), and he'll likely get both (give him a bread ball, wait until he swallows it, then start running around) after each correct response, and we'll keep it up as long as I can actually keep running and have the breath to talk, and maybe even when I don't by using what few hand signals we have.

This should be a lot of fun for us both, and the weather may well cooperate (sunny, not too hot) and with the kids in school, no interference from them either.

I can't wait to get this going! We might can expand on this even more over time.