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Level 1

Building the Relationship and Teaching the Foundation

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WEEK 3 - Skills, Cues and Games

and the Concepts They Address

WEEK 3 - TOPICS

What is Value?

From Main Page:

Socialization

Confidence, Optimism, Calmness, Focus

(Socialization, Relationship)

DMT

Confidence, Optimism, Calmness, Focus

(Relationship, Socialization)

Sniff It Out with Vacuums

Confidence, Optimism, Calmness, Focus, Arousal Down, Tolerance of Frustration, Independence (Socialization)

WEEK 3 - SKILLS

Food Bowl Exerises

Confidence, Optimism, Calmness

(Relationship)

Airplane Game/Gentle

Confidence, Calmness, Focus, Arousal Down, Tolerance of Frustration, Impulse Control


Continue practicing other skills as well as using them in real life situations. Practicing allows you to ensure the continuation of positive associations.

WEEK 3 - CUES

Drop/Trade

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Disengagement, Impulse Control

(Relationship)

Come Part 1

Confidence, Optimism,  Focus, Engagement, Proximity (Recall, Relationship)

Movement Exercises Foundation

Focus, Proximity, Impulse Control

(Walking With Manners, Loose Leash Walking, Relationship)

WEEK 3 - GAMES

Running Orientation

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Arousal Up, Disengagement, Engagement, Proximity, Impulse Control

(Recall, Walking With Manners, Relationship)

Toy Switching Building Blocks

Confidence, Optimism, Arousal Up, Disengagement, Engagement, Flexibility, Proximity, Focus, Impulse Control

(Relationship)


WEEK 3 TOPIC


What is Value?

Dogs make choices based on what is valuable to them. What they like most is their first choice. So pay attention - dogs show you where the value is! Use this knowledge to your advantage. As you go through each day with your puppy, be aware of what you want from your puppy in any given situation. Place value in the things that are important to you, so that they become important to your puppy.

Reinforce foundation behaviors when they happen for real-life routines, and where you want them to happen — even simple behaviors like four on the floor and sit. Four on the floor for food from you is better than paws on the counter for food. Capture moments in time and reward your puppy for good choices so that it will happen again and again, until it is automatic. Reward your dog with things he loves. Use food, use praise, use affection, toys, and play to your advantage.

Live in each moment with your dog. Notice the quiet, appropriate behavior and reward it. Dogs don't work for free, nor should they get the things they want for free. So pay well and build a ton of value in the behaviors you want now so that it is on default in the future.

SOCIALIZATION (Throughout Training)


Sniff It Out Game with Vacuum

CONFIDENCE, CALMNESS, FOCUS, SOCIALIZATION

This is a wonderful game to play for socialization with household items, like brooms, mops, shovels, and rakes, and vacuums at a low threshold level.

With the vacuum, play with it off first. Make sure that your dog is good at playing the game and sniffing out the food, as per your assignment in the first week. Next, you will bring the vacuum into the search area and work there. Then you will progress to moving the vacuum and turning it on, all while your pup plays a game that creates positive associatioins, calmness and confidence around the appliance. This can also be done with brooms and mops, which can also be items that dogs can have negative emotions or undesireable behavior around (Chasing, biting, stress, over-excitement).

This game can also be used as an intervention game for calming strategies. It's a great game to play when the gardener or pool cleaner comes into the backyard. It provides a positive activity for your dog to focus on so your pup learns to ignore the "intruder" and handle the sound of the blowers and mowers.

WEEK 3 SKILLS


Food Bowl Exercises

CALMNESS, CONFIDENCE

You want to be proactive in your training and prevent any food bowl (or treat toy) guarding behaviors. It is best started early when the behaviors do not exist. You want to create calm, positive associations around the bowl for your dog, and get your pup used to people moving about, touching and getting near the bowl without causing any stress to your dog. That is easy to do with the food bowl exercise. Practice this regularly and all through adolescence! That means at least the first year.

*The crumbs you create with stuffing your Kongs and Toppl Toys, can be used in your food bowl exercises.


Airplane Game/Gentle

FOCUS, CALMNESS, IMPULSE CONTROL

Dogs, in excitement, can become a bit snappy when taking food from your hand. They can also begin to lurch forward in anticipation of receiving the food. This game teaches your dog some impulse-control and how to wait for the food to be delivered to the mouth.

It's a quick and simple game, but can be very valuable - especially for your fingers. It can be played as part of the rewarding experience after a behavior, or as a stand alone game.

WEEK 3 CUES


Drop/Trade

CONFIDENCE, FOCUS, IMPULSE CONTROL

Choose your own cue for the behavior - Drop, Trade, Release, Thank you... whatever you want. What matters is attaching the word to the specific behavior wanted so your dog learns what to do by association. 

Sometimes, drop/trade can turn into a good retrieve behavior, which can be helpful for service and for just general play - this is when the dog comes to you before dropping the item.

You may feel like sometimes your dog picks things up just so he can trade with you - and that may very well be the case. This behavior then lets you know a few things...

  1. Your dog understands the object of the trade game
  2. You need to pick up better to prevent your dog from having access to things he should not have
  3. You need to fall back on management tools to prevent your dog from having access to things
  4. You need to continue redirecting onto appropriate dog toys and such and really praise and give him more attention when he is playing with them to reinforce that behavior/choice
  5. Utilize other cues and strategies to prevent your pup from picking up inappropriate items
  6. Teaching some impulse-control around random things will be next on your list (talk to me about that).

BE VERY CAREFUL!! This behavior is easy to punish!!

It is so crucial in preventative measures for possession/guarding behaviors. And yes, grabbing a sock or other object and running away with it, going under a table or inviting the "chase me" game is a form of possessive behavior. Ittakes time in understanding these important and crucial concepts of giving something up:

  • If I give it up, you give it back. Giving is fun!!
  • If I give it up, I'll get something better! Letting go of things is great!

Training Tip: **Practice Drop/Trade for a very long time! Do not be too quick to stop giving something in exchange. I recommend training Drop throughout the first year, and then doing an exchange periodically to maintain the behavior.


The Come Cue (Part 1)

CONFIDENCE, FOCUS, RECALL, RELATIONSHIP

The recall, or "Come" cue is a complex cue that many people want their dog to be reliable with. It could actually save your dog's life one day, or at least keep her out of trouble. Puppies want to be near us, so this is the optimum time to teach the cue. You've already set the foundation for the Come cue by teaching Touch and working with distance. Now, we use this skill and build upon it to teach your dog to come on cue.

**It is important to read through all the rules/guidelines to the cue so that over time your dog retains a positive association and attitude with the cue. 

Prerequisites before bginning this cue: proficient with Name Recognition, Pick Me game, Orientation Basics. Highly recommended - proficient with Touch and Pup Pup Recall.

Important Points to Remember:

  1. Practice more than you actually use the cue in real life. When you practice, have your dog "COME" to you andthen "GO" (release or Premack) to something fun.
  2. Combine this with your orientation games - basics, running orientation, so it is more about being near you than anything else.
  3. This is for inside only! If you take it outside before the concepts of how to work distraction is taught, you run the risk of the cue falling apart. There is a method to my madness!
  4. Use multiple methods of reinforcement - high value food, toys, praise, play, fun!

This cue is easily punished without even knowing you are doing it, so it is very important to follow the rules with how and when you use it. I get more calls for help on recall because their dog won't come anymore. It is always because the person has inadvertently punished the cue without even realizing it. So follow the method and the rules in your handout!

When in doubt, use other ways to get your puppy to come - either by using your Attention Cue "Pup Pup Recall" or your puppy's name, or clapping or patting your legs, crouching down, playing an Orientation Game or Pick Me! Game, using the Touch cue in place of the Come cue, cuing a sit or going over to your puppy.

DO NOT USE COME TO BRING YOUR DOG INSIDE - YOU ARE TELLING YOUR DOG "COME" MEANS FUN IS OVER...

Do not use the Come cue to bring your puppy inside (when all the fun has now come to an end) after having a blast playing outside - this can easily be interpreted as punishment by your dog! Enough repetitions of this can make a dog stop coming to you. When you need your puppy to come inside after being outside, use either the Touch cue to get him near the door or you where you can then pick him up and bring him inside, or use an "In" cue and toss a treat on the floor inside the house for him to get. Or, use a boundary game and set a boundary at the porch/patio or just inside the door (both "In" and Boundary Training are part of Level 2). Reward your puppy for coming inside, either with some kibble, a treat, more play and fun, etc.

USE SUPER HIGH VALUE TREATS AND REWARDS WHEN TRAINING!

I can't stress this enough. Stack your rewards and have a party!

FOOD: Yes, you can use chicken, steak, bacon... The value of these treats will be designated by your puppy, so test things out. Save these super special treats for the recall only.

PRAISE: Take your time to teach this cue and build drive in your puppy so she is enthusiastic with coming to you. Use a fun and exciting voice and have a party when your puppy comes to you!

TOYS/PLAY: Use toys (tugs, squeaky toys, balls, frisbees) as rewards and play with your puppy when he/she comes to you.

By using multiple rewards with your puppy you are teaching him/her to be a flexible learner and you then have multiple options on rewarding your pup for a job well done.


Walking With Manners (WWM) - Movement Exercises Foundation

Inside: Off-Leash and On-leash

CONFIDENCE, FOCUS, WALKING WITH MANNERS, IMPULSE CONTROL

It is called "Foundation" because you will use your foundation cues (Following a Lure, Sit, Touch and Look) to teach the primary behaviors needed for walking with manners. This has more rules than the Follow Me/Movement Games.

Structure and clarity first! You are building the foundations for Walking With Manners.

Walks require proficiency in a multitude of behaviors and concepts. In the Movement Games and Exercises you are:

  • Teaching a preliminary skill for walking nicely on leash.
  • Reinforcing proximity and a loose leash
  • Supporting recall and orientation
  • Building focus
  • Encouraging good manners
  • Strengthening your relationship

You can't go wrong!! It's just that awesome!

You will use this exercise to utilize cues to teach your puppy how to do foundation behaviors (Sit, Look, Touch) in the heel position (at your side).It also helps some puppies learn how to give eye-contact while moving and not auto-sitting to look up at you.

This is how you can teach your puppy to move with you when you are walking. You canuse Following a Lure to help, as well as use it to guide your puppy through turns and get your puppy to your side.

This also builds your puppy's ability to build focus by incorporating a Premack (release) cue. Sniffing around is important and so your puppy will need breaks to be a puppy. Utilize your relase cue so it is clear when you want focus, and win your puppy can have fun "mucking around."

Does the side matter? Not unless you plan on competing in Rally or Obedience competitions; then you will choose the left side. Otherwise, you can choose either side.

Make sure that your puppy has really mastered the first stage before moving on to the next. This video is not created to be completed in one day or even one week. The time it will take for your puppy to learn the appropriate behavior will depend on his individual drive, the energy level at any given moment, how far you and your puppy have come with basic movement games, your timing with cues (eliminating undesired behavior before they happen), the frequency of reinforcement for appropriate behavior, and utilizing Premack.

Now, take the Movement Exercises Foundation and put it on leash. Here you will require even more structure because staying on one side will be even more important. But, your pup also needs to learn how to follow you not only when you are walking in a straight line, but also when turning and moving about. If your pup is having trouble ignoring the leash, refer back to your Leash Work videos and Movement Games On Leash.

A NOTE ON "DOG WALKS..."

Taking a dog fora walk is a complex activity. I know it doesn't seem like it, but for a little puppy, who is just a baby and not able to filter out all that is going on around him, walks are stimulating andcomplex. Attention span and the ability to stay focused is limited in puppies, as are the skills needed for nice, successful and enjoyable walks. Don't expect too much too soon. Build the skills first in your puppy with the videos I'm sending you.

Puppy nipping at feet? Go back and continue to play Follow Me, Using a Tug Toy, and Orientation Games and focus on the Sit and Look cues. Get your puppy's focus up and away from your feet! Whenever your pup looks at your feet, cue a Look and get that focus back on your face. Take fewer steps and stop, cuing the Sit to stop the nipping before it starts. Keep arousal levels lower and reward good behaviorssooner and more often. Make training time short and sweet to avoid frustration.

WEEK 3 GAMES


Running Orientation Game

CONFIDENCE, FOCUS, RELATIONSHIP, RECALL, WALKING WITH MANNERS, IMPULSE CONTROL

Orientation is going to be a very important; a valuable and needed behavior! So there are a number of games that build the drive and value in the behavior so that it becomes default.

This game in itself is an informal recall - your body and the running is a visual cue.

This variation builds some excitement and fun in the original game. It is also going to be very helpful for future, morecomplex cues and behaviors like loose leash walking and recall.

This game boosts and supports your Follow Me Movement Game. Work through not having your puppy jump on you in excitement.This game also builds focus (paying attention), and will be crucial for working through distractions.

Plus, it is just super fun and boosts your relationship with your puppy.


Toy Switching Building Blocks

CONFIDENCE, FOCUS, RELATIONSHIP, RECALL, WALKING WITH MANNERS, IMPULSE CONTROL

You built some fun with play and toys with your puppy in the initial toy switching game, now it is time to build some foundational skills around play and begin introducing cues.

This is your introduction to using Premack with play and building fun and desire in the cue, as well as not putting control on the game where you could actually "suck the fun" out of it. You don't want to do that!! That is why I also neveruse the cue "Leave it" with toys, and why you are NOT teaching your puppy that cue yet - that comes later!

You will hear me say "Get it!" That is my go-to Premack cue with toys, always.

You are also going to teach drop in a fun and exciting way so that the cue is viewed as fun rather than punishment.

You are going to keep building fun with play so that down the road, play can be another reward youcan use with your dog - flexibility in rewards is important!

You will be building on this throughout your training,and it will come in handy down the road when working with higher value/higher arousal and distractions where food might not cut it.