Focus & Control
week 6 homework

Review

Continue practicing the skills from each week of class - try them out in new locations and slowly increase difficulty level (think about duration, distraction level, and/or distance from distractions):

  • Relaxation (Home Base or mat work) and massage

  • Engagement with you

    • Name Game​

    • Rewarding eye contact or looking at you

    • Capturing the "good" behaviors you like

  • Hand Target

  • Find it!

  • 1-2-3 Walking Pattern Game

  • Whiplash Turn

  • Run Away!

  • Go to your Mat

  • Open bar / Closed bar

  • The Look at That (LAT) Game

  • Tricks / Play

  • Continue to maintain management of your dog's reactive behavior

  • Ping-Pong Pattern Game

  • Up and Down Pattern Game

Keep in mind the following, as well!

  • Management

    • Management prevents your dog from practicing the unwanted behavior (that has you in this class) over and over and, therefore, getting really good at it!

    • On top of that, management is used to reduce your dog's daily stress and experience of adrenaline and cortisol - give your dog a cortisol vacation!

    • Over the next six weeks, work on reducing stress and keeping your dog UNDER threshold as much as possible. Identify your dog's triggers and work on changing their routine or environments to avoid those triggers.

    • This is not a long-term solution because it doesn’t teach your dog how to appropriately respond to triggers; that's what we'll be working on in class!

  • Ok, so management. Got it! But, what are we looking to avoid?

    • Reactive behavior!

    • We’re familiar with the barking and lunging and pulling – the explosive stuff, but what about the more subtle things? These are often called calming or stress signals:

      • Sniffing, scratching, or grooming

      • Yawning, lip licking, looking away, turning away

      • Panting, shaking off, trembling/shaking

      • Whale eye, hackling

      • Staring and fixation (sustained watching for more than 5 seconds)

    • Management means we're looking for even subtle signs and preventing our dog from escalating to the more obvious signs of reactivity!​​

Have fun training and playing games with your dog and reach out if you have any questions or concerns!