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Basic Obedience

All of the SuperStart Obedience Content in one place!

This is one of my favourite games to play with a new puppy, While perfecting a puppy's stay and improving recall. There are a few steps but lots of room for adding distractions and of course lots of treats!
I start off with a simple sit and take a step back. If the puppy doesnt move I say yes (or click) and reward. Repeating this step several times I move back two-four steps and continue to go further and further. 
After Loki becomes a pro I start to add hopping, skipping and moving faster. You can even start to drop a toy  to add another distraction. 
After several sessions I will start to add a cue and work on adding in the recall to make it a fun and enjoyable game.
Something I wanted to teach was a good fetch! ​Now I have never had to teach this so I went ahead and clicked for any interaction with the toy. Within a matter of minutes I had a pretty solid fetch! 
I recorded all of our progress so feel free to watch and give me feedback. I think it worked out pretty well! 
Leave It

When I ran my own training facility I had so much success teaching dogs the leave it behavior. I remember getting owners telling me it won't work or it's "not possible". Well after less than two minutes, their dogs would leave a piece of steak in placed in front of them.   

Below is a video of Loki learning "Leave it"

Let's learn to KLIMB!

If you haven't already heard of the Blue-9 KLIMB you need to go over to their website and check them out! (Click on the Klimb photo above) 


"The Klimb is a specially designed dog training platform that improves a dog's focus by elevating them off the ground and making training more effective".

This was Loki's very first Klimb training session and so far I am beyond pleased with his progress! Both of my other dogs are trained to use this pedestal and its worked wonders with Marvel's reactivity training. Also in this video I was training during a huge storm. 

Drop it

Teaching your pup to drop things when asked is a fantastic skill to have. With my sport pups I teach a very exciting drop it to help with impulse control. As you can see in the video, I make it a game that the dog clearly enjoys and understands. I get the dog super pumped up and then give the drop it cue. I use "That's enough". The pup then drops the object and backs up waiting for the next cue. I like to teach this with multiple objects but in this case Loki learned it with just his ZUMI leash and a few pieces of kibble while we were at the outdoor mall. 

Impulse Control

A very important skill to have is to be able to watch other dogs work and either stay quiet or stay in one place. I say "or" because Hero is never quiet when I work with other dogs.. It's much easier to do this when they are pups then when they are 4 or 5 years old. I use a pedestal and reward for laying down and for not making  any noise. ​

Another game I play is "who did I call". 

This is a fun training exercise that helps with your pups name and impulse control! In the video you can hear the change in my voice when i switch up my cues. I do this to help with the success rate of the behavior. 

Leave it & Drop it... again 

Cleaning up these two behaviours never gets old. Each session is only improving on these super important life skills. 

Leave It

There are so many games you can play to help improve your dog's ability to leave something when asked. I like training without verbal cues. So when something is dropped on the floor, or when we come across something that the dog should know not to touch, he will make the choice to leave it alone. 

Drop It

As seen in a previous week, I teach drop it with a tug or leash. I give a  verbal cue along with some body language. I stop tugging and start again after the dog drops it. I do this so at times I can either give a verbal cue or just stop tugging to get the pup to drop it!

Recall Games

There are several games you can play with your puppy to gain a solid recall. One of my favorites is setting up various situations to allow the pup to make his/her own decision. In the video you will see exactly what I mean. 

I start off with a simple sit/stay along with a recall. To make this challenging I place objects/treats around the recall area for the puppy to think. Once this is almost 100% I increase the distractions and add in rolling toys,throw treats and get other dogs involved. 

Just remember to have fun!

Video of Loki's first loose leash session
Loose Leash Walking
(Article By Lindsay Oakley, KPA CTP, CTDI)

I like to allow my puppy complete freedom when introducing them to walking on a leash. After a few weeks of using a harness and walking around, I start the actual training process. The following information is from a fellow trainer. 

"So step one to successful loose leash walking, is attention. Grab that 

motivation of yours, (for ease in explaining, I have chosen food as the 

main motivator for this article) and a clicker if you have it (a simple "yes" or "good" will work as a marker if you don't), leash up your dog, and go......nowhere. That's right, start in your house, with minimal distractions.  Wait for your dog to look at you, click (or use your marker word) and 

drop a treat on the ground, away from you, to "reset" the dog.  When the dog turns to look at you (eye contact is not necessary, seeing the front of his nose pointing at you is) repeat the process. 


Do this for 10 -15 reps.  End your session. Play with your pup, give him something to chew....give your pup some time away from training.  Then practice this in many rooms of the house, then outside in your front yard, the back yard, a park, in front of a store, the vet's get the idea.  The cue (once your dog is automatically looking back at you after eating the cookie) guessed it, the dog's name. "

After a week of working on loose leash walking, its time for the next step! The following is from an article by a fellow trainer. 

"Step two: go back to a minimally distracting environment.  Ask your dog for a sit, and put yourself beside him, where you would like him to be 

while walking.  I know, I sounds backwards.  Next, toss a treat behind you, about a foot or two (depending on the size of your dog ­ he needs to slightly leave your side).  Your pup should go for it, and then.....turn around and look at you. (yay attention!)  Because you haven't tossed the treat very far, when your dog turns back around, he should end up pretty much beside you again, where you want him to be....this is where you click (or say your marker word) and toss the treat behind you again.Once your pup is readily coming back to your side, you may move a bit

 (turn 90 degrees, take a step forward, etc) and continue the process 

until the dog understands that he gets the good stuff right at your side.



Step three is increasing your distance (180 turns, two steps, three, etc) 

but always make sure you vary the difficulty never continually increase it; rather, maybe take three steps, then one, then four, then three, etc ­ to keep your dog guessing.  Take to more distracting environments with the high value stuff (you know the drill!) and go back a step or two to 

make it easy for your dog to succeed. Gradually, and with lots of practice, you can increase the amount of steps you're taking, and you can fade 

out the treats (eventually only treating your dog at the very end of the

 walk.)  When you and your dog are ready, you can add a cue (I use "let's go!")....remember to click/reward while your dog is getting it right; don't wait until he has made an error.  Itwill happen ­ all it means is that you've gone too fast for him.  Take it back a notch.  Resetting to start over is as simple as asking your pup for a sit, and then re­cue the behaviour. With a lot of practice, nice, calm, enjoyable walks are possible.  

Your shoulders will survive!"

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