APPLICATIONS OF Dinnertime DOWN for dogs.
Note to readers: the easiest way to tackle this chapter is to read both chapters 7 and 8 all the way through, then go back and start teaching. You’ll be able to see the finished result and understand how everything go together before you start.
Good leaders utilize their abilities to develop patterns that become habits over time. A daily application keeps the negative habit at bay.
OBEDIENCE COMMANDS PRACTICE AND REINFORMATION
You’ll need to practice your obedience skills regularly now that you’ve mastered them. Your dog’s expectations and needs are reinforced via regular practice sessions. Maintain high standards of performance while practicing. Every time, correct faults the first time.
The objectives of obedience training are to preserve the quality of obedience orders while also improving and refining handling skills. They also give scheduled mental activities for your dog, keep his thinking bright, and, most importantly, provide a controlled venue for you to praise him.
We recommend not just practicing the formal directions HEEL, SIT, DOWN, BREAK, COME, and PLACE, but also specialized distraction-obedience activities that you may include into your distraction training and application sessions. When you’ve completed these exercises, make a note of them so you can include them into your fitness routine.
A stroll is not the same as a workout. Despite the fact that orders will be used throughout your stroll, the low frequency of recurrence prevents them from being successfully “practiced.”
The obedience abilities are done more often during structured training, which helps to retain their competence.
After you’ve completed your Ten-Week Training Recipe, you should practice twice a day for at least three months.
After the first training program is completed, reduce your practice frequency to once per day for nine months.
Reduce your session frequency to three to four times per week after at least nine months of daily exercise. You’ll probably need to continue doing this on a regular basis for the rest of your dog’s life.
Videotape yourself performing the obedience instructions as training assistance. Examine the tape to see where your discrepancies are located. Take attention of the loudness and inflection of your voice when you view your video. Is there any calm time in the workout? There should be little to no quiet time during a really successful exercise.
Application is the process of putting your obedience skills to use in daily situations. Application is a method of providing supervised activities to your dog with the purpose of teaching her how to behave independently in a variety of scenarios.
The more duties you give your dog, the more likely he will keep his “cooperation muscle” flexible. To maintain strong cooperation, assign your dog five to ten chores each day.
Make up a recipe. Choose a behavior that you’d want to modify and write it down. Consider the alternative behavior you’d want to see and write it next to the previous one. Determine which obedience abilities are required to establish the new behavior. Start practicing these abilities and forming the new habit.
Desired Behavior, Skills Required, How to Create the Pattern Using the Skills, and ETD should all be included in your recipe (Estimated Time of Development). Make a recipe card, stick it on the refrigerator as a reminder, and start “cooking.”
Use the obedience instructions precisely as you practiced them in the workout while building patterns with your dog in real life. Your dog will be able to establish the link between practice and real life more quickly this way. This means you should always have your dog’s leash and collar on when making these patterns.
Make sure distraction training is included in your application skills. An application may also be a source of distraction (usually a mix of object and environment distractions). Stop the exercise and focus more on the distraction training linked with the application if the application does not seem to be functioning.
DOWN APPLICATIONS DINNER TIME DOWN
Step 1: Determine which habit you wish to alter. When you dine at the table, for example, your dog begs, barks, and annoys you.
Step 2: Make up a new pattern.
You want your dog to sit calmly by your side while you dine at the table, with no barking or begging.
Step Three: Determine the abilities required for the new pattern—DOWN, posture staying (practiced for as long as your meal lasts), distraction training (around toys and food), and variety (commands given from a chair). Practice your abilities.
Create a new pattern in step four.
Wear a leash and a collar on your dog.
When the food is on the table, tell your dog to DOWN (praising with “excellent DOWN”).
Wait for your dog to relax into his DOWN position.
Sit down. If your dog gets up, use NO and DOWN to refocus him. Continue with your dinner after your dog is asleep. The leash should be laid over your lap. As needed, redirect. Once your dog is in the DOWN position, randomly praise him.
Reposition your dog in the DOWN so he is facing away from you if your dog continues to stare at you as you eat.
Keep the leash on your lap at all times. If he barks at you (even once), discipline him with NO and reward him for being silent.
The application exercise should be a success if you have worked on all of the component abilities of the dinnertime DOWN. If the exercise is challenging or irritating, and it requires more patience than you have as a team, stop doing it and kennel your dog between meals, then focus on improving the individual skills needed for the application.
Additional DOWN Applications
On the phone, keep it quiet. Some dogs are aware when their owner’s attention is diverted by the phone. So, when the phone rings, they bark, flee to another room, steal stuff, and so on, and since you’re focused on the discussion, this unacceptable conduct is tolerated. While pretending to chat on the phone, keep your dog in a DOWN command.
Have a one-sided conversation while holding the phone to your ear. If your dog gets up, you may reinforce the DOWN command without stopping your “conversation,” and your dog will learn that the command can be reinforced while you converse on the phone.
Give the phone workout a new spin.
When the phone rings, some dogs get ecstatic. Ring your primary line using a second phone (such as a mobile phone). Prior to replying, reinforce either SIT or DOWN. Please take your time. You will not want to miss this call.