The K9 Companion class began as an entry level training course for dogs that are 6 months or older. The concepts, however, can be used for all ages of dogs including puppies. The class introduces you to reward-based training techniques that will help you communicate to your dog a basic vocabulary of commands and will strengthen the bond you have with your dog to help make him or her a better house companion. Please review all the weeks because information in latter weeks make be useful immediately. Certainly there are various sequences in which the exercises may be taught and you should do what works best for you and your K9 Companion.

Week 2 – Homework

As in all training classes, each week builds on previous weeks so it’s important that you review all the week’s homework as you get them and also look at previous weeks for information that may have slipped your mind.

Read and study the Attention Exercise handout. This exercise is crucial to your relationship with your dog and may even be life saving if a squirrel runs by on a walk and your dog focuses his attention on you instead of bolting away from you and after the squirrel.

Practice luring your dog into the sit and down position. Do it in various location in your home so your dog doesn’t think the only time he has to listen is in the kitchen in front of the refrigerator just after you’ve pulled treats from the freezer and warmed them up in the microwave. The phrases “My dog never did that” and “He does it really good at home in the kitchen” are extremely well used in obedience classes!! To avoid this train your dog many places at various times. (Your dog follows you into the bathroom…..have treats ready and tell him to sit or watch, mark with YES and treat…’re sitting on the couch watching TV….again….have treats ready and tell him to sit, mark with YES and treat! You get the idea!!) An idea would be to shoot for doing 8 sits and 8 downs 3 times per day in a different place in your home.

On the back of this sheet, make a list of the various times you make your dog work for something. For example: sit before going though a door; down before getting fed; sit after he nudges your arm to be petted and before you give him attention. Be careful not to reward him for bad behavior, for instance: dog barks for attention, gets picked up and held to quiet him.

When you’re eating supper or settling down for the evening, bring your dog to his mat, tell him to place and then settle. If he’s good at staying, tell him he’s good and give him some treats.

As before, please keep a log of your training with notes regarding the problems you may be having and, of course, record the successes!! At the end of the week you’ll be able to look back and see what you’ve accomplished!

Click here for printable version of this page.