Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Training time is anytime

Last night before bed I was reading the end of Control Unleashed where the author tells her story about her dog named Snap. Nothing was particularly new seeing as how most of it is covered in the book prior to this point, but I had read somewhere a few days ago (can't remember where) about how they got better results by throwing training into their day at random points rather than having designated training sessions.

Usually our training takes place in the morning before Kobi gets breakfast, he has to earn his food. But lately he's started getting frustrated as we worked on harder things, he would bark prior to preforming a task. I asked my trainer about this and she suggested that he might be hungry and is getting annoyed that he isn't getting treats as quickly. She recommended giving him a third of his breakfast, go for his walk then train then feed the rest of his breakfast. This seems to have stopped the barking issue, but I've been finding this way Kobi is less motivated to work for the rest of his breakfast, and if tired from working on loose leash walking.

This morning I tried something new. I decided I would do a designated training session, but it would be broken up. In Control Unleashed the author talks about building a tug drive by tugging for 10 seconds, take a minute break, tug for 20 seconds, take a minute break,  and so on continueing to build the time during the session followed by a break.

This morning I was working with Kobi on getting him to lie down while I was in motion (one of the skills we're learning in advanced life skills). I broke this session up by tugging to get him interested, getting him to sit once he's given the cue to "give", then walk from behind him, tell him "down" while beside him and continue walking before going back to treat then tug again. Then instead of getting him to do this again, we stopped. I went about my morning routine, washed my face, then went back and trained, got dressed, then went back and trained, did my makeup, went back and trained, and each time adding another repetition before taking the break. I worked on the same skill yesterday and had more success in 15 minutes today than I did in multiple training sessions yesterday.

The second thing I am doing differently is making anytime training time. When I was doing a couple of dishes I got Kobi to do a Sit Stay. When he came to say hello to me at the couch I made him do a nose touch. When working on some art I got his Mat out and dis mat work with him, tossing treats down at random intervals. This morning alone I have already done more training than I do in an average training session or day.

So break up training sessions by taking breaks and throw training into everything. Sitting on the couch can now be a training session!

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