This is when a group of students meet for a predetermined number of weeks, depending on the class being taught, to go through a course of instruction together. The class is taught using the “four D’s” of dog training philosophy.
To have your dog perform a task with other people and dogs in the general area. Your dog should be able to complete the task while remaining focused on your commands, no matter what is going on around them.
As your dog learns what is expected of them when performing a task, we will extend the time your dog is required to follow the command of “leave it”, which means leaving a food reward or a desired object alone, or “stay” until the “release” command is given. The aim is to have your dog only pay attention to what you want them to do, while ignoring the distractions going on around them.
Once your dog learns how to handle distractions, for a longer duration, we will teach them to perform a desired task while adding distance between you and your dog.
As your dog learns to perform a task while combining distractions, duration, and distance, we will make the task more difficult by adding new distractions, over a longer duration, and at a greater distance.
The goal of this training is to teach your dog to remain focused on you and to closely follow your commands, regardless of what is happening in the environment they are in.
WHY GROUP CLASSES
Group classes are a good way to introduce your dog to different environments, develop their social skills, and to help them learn to cope with the distractions they will experience when being exposed to other people and dogs.
We will start the training by using food rewards, which will gradually be faded out as progress is made throughout the training sessions. If your dog is not food motivated and you would prefer to use a different type of reward, such as a favorite toy or a tennis ball, this would be an acceptable option to motivate a desired behavior.
Keep in mind, no training will be successful unless you put forth the proper time and effort required. You should consider dedicating at least a half hour, each day, to your dogs training. Consistency and repetition is what will make you and your dog a success.
What is Nosework?
Dogs already know how to use their nose, you have probably observed this many times yourself, no matter where a dog is their nose is constantly working. At times it can cause some dogs to get themselves into trouble, they may not be able to resist the urge to follow a bunny or deer trail that is going across your yard. You may have also noticed it when you are on a walk with Fido, he just must sniff everything he walks past. That is how your dog will learn and better understand about the environment they are in. When K9’s greet each other or when someone comes to your home the first thing your dog wants to do is smell the dog or person they are making contact with. This is an instinctive behavior and it is how they know who or what you are and where you have been.
How can you use Nosework to your advantage as a civilian dog owner?
In the past, Nosework was primarily considered to be for dogs that worked in Law Enforcement, Military Services or Search and Rescue type work. But, this has changed in the recent years, it is now considered by many to be a dog sport. Many dogs have been bred to do a specific job and although some dogs can perform a task that others can’t, I’m sure everyone would agree that all dogs will naturally use their nose to smell anything they are near. That is why just about any dog can be taught to do Nosework. It does not matter if your dog is shy, hyper, big or small or even has aggression issues, if they can be motivated by food, a special toy or praise they will most likely be able to learn how to do Nosework. Giving your dog a job will build their confidence and after just a few rounds of searching for a target odor it will help them relax.
What are some of the target odors your dog will learn to search for?
Over time each odor will be introduced separately, depending on your dog’s progress.