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 #3 Homework

As always, review what you’ve learned in previous weeks. When you want your dog to settle down, take him to his PLACE. Because this week you learned how to have your dog STAY in a DOWN position, it would be a good opportunity to work on that when you want him to settle. If he’s good, tell him so and reward him by occasionally giving him a treat. Don’t make a big deal of it, just quietly go to him, say GOOD and put the treat on the mat rather than handing it to him. If you feed it to him, he may anticipate getting the treat when you walk over to him and then get up out of position.
Play the EYE CONTACT game whenever you can. As your dog gets it, he will start searching you out and looking at you expecting a treat. Always have treats ready for the game.

Get a long line, attach it to your dog’s collar, go in your empty garage and be a “tree”. When your dog turns to look at you, YES and reward. Have other activity around so there are some natural distractions. Be alert to any antifreeze that could be on the floor and if you even think there is some, don’t train there. Do sits and downs various places around your house.

Find something that can be used as a PLACE BOARD. The round boards I use are from Menards and cost about $7. You’ll need something to put on the top to keep him from slipping. Be sure to have something that is an inch or so off the ground to as to distinguish it from the mat you’ve been using. Walk your dog to the PLACE BOARD and tell him to SIT or DOWN and then tell him to STAY and stand near him. Walk around him but at this time don’t make him STAY too long. Mark with YES releasing him, take a step back and with a happy voice, treat and play with him.

If you have the opportunity, practice the Restrained RECALL. You’ll need another person to hold your dog while you run away calling him. Your helper encourages your dog to get excited. If you aren’t in an enclosed area, be sure to have a long line on him.

And finally, the last session of class is going to be a “Show and Tell” along with other games we’re going to play. Think of a trick that you would like to teach your dog and lets figure out how to accomplishment it. AND…..don’t forget to log your training sessions!