All our trainers will tell you that training doesn’t stop after your dog completes their training. No, if you are not training/shaping a new behaviour, you’re reinforcing an existing one. Stimulating their minds and reinforcing training not only maintains the good behaviour but prevents bad ones from developing. We have preached the CCT's to all our clients: Consistency, Communication & Timing.
But training doesn’t have to cost money, nor does it have to take place in a classroom.
With some simple planning, you can continue to use your basic obedience commands with your dog as you go about your daily business.
Here are some suggestions for doing just that:
Sit/Down > leading to Sit/Down in Motion.
When you are preparing meals, whether it is for human or canine consumption, “Sit” or “Down” is perfect to keep the kitchen area clear as well as ensuring easy maneuverability. You can also have your dog “Sit” or “Down” before you set their meal down.
“Sit” can also be used on your walk when you stop to pick up your dog’s waste, or if your dog is easily distracted by other dogs/people. It’s also not a bad command to use when a car is approaching. As you advance ask for the commands as you continue to walk. Essentially you ask for a sit, and continue to walk past your dog until you break them from this position.
This command comes in handy if you need to have your door open while you bring in groceries, or packages, to allow guests to enter your home, or simply just for practice. “Wait” is a temporary command; it helps teach your dog impulse control.
Practice your “Wait” command at feeding time when you are getting ready to set their bowl down, or on a walk when it’s time to cross the street.
“Stay” should mean, “do not move until I come back for you.” Practice this in your home if you need to nip out of the room for a minute.
Both “Wait” and “Stay” can literally be the difference in life or death if, say, your dog were to get loose in a busy traffic area.
Come, Here or Your Own Recall Word
A solid recall is important, and you can practice this so many times in your daily routine. When it’s time for a walk, for mealtime, to go out for the last potty of the night, or simply just because.
Once your dog understands the Mark / “Place” command. This command can be used when the doorbell rings, or when guests arrive. Along with park benches, green boxes, large rocks, etc. In my house, dogs need to stay on their ‘mark’ when it is dinnertime for the humans. After we’ve finished our meal, we BREAK the dogs and reward them with a small treat.
“Leave It” is one of those versatile commands that you can use for just about anything. It keeps your dog from snagging something harmful off the floor/ground, from rolling in something disgusting, from ripping your arm off at the sight of a squirrel.
Practice your look command on walks when another dog or animal is distracting, or at meal times before you set your dog’s food down. As well as during your walk. This will provide your dog with a focus point and prevent the wondering eye.
To leave a command you must offer a new command, whether it is a new task or a simple Break (release) command.
Utilize the break command as a very positive experience. The way we look at it as is your dogs pay check. They just worked really well during their training now here is your pay check go take a break :)
Once your dog knows their basic obedience commands, there is no end to where you can use them.
A tired dog is usually a well-behaved dog and mental stimulation can be almost as tiring as a physical exercise.