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Refining the Down, Socialization

posted Dec 28, 2010, 4:37 AM by Top Paw Training   [ updated Jan 14, 2011, 4:20 AM ]
    Session three was a review of all the behaviors we have learned so far.

4H Dog Project

We also welcomed Jordan and Emma, a border collie. She is a cutie and her handler is great at commanding her to obey, although Emma is learning to listen around those distracting squirrels.
We progressed the down behavior from a lure and gesture to fading the lure and geture and using only a verbal and gesture if needed. The idea is to eliminate the need to have treats in the equation and having to bend over to command the dog to obey. Looks like all the dogs are well on their way to laying down with the verbal command from the handler in the stand position.
This session also challenged our handling skills as a socialization and distraction course was setup. It included: exploring the park, bathrooms, monuments, ducks and waterways, walking near people and other dogs, benches and pinic tables, as well as an opening umbrella, a honking bike horn, a drop kicked paper bag and a big bag of training equipment. The normal reaction is to investigate carefully and then to sniff, approach and reward the dog for confident investigation.
We will continue to socialize our dogs in the coming sessions.