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April 11, 2011

The challenge of working 10-12 hours every day for weeks (possibly months) on end is that the pace leaves little room for much more than survival. That means, other than the usual daily dog training cues and rewards, not a lot happens. So, to keep myself on track and to renew my commitment to all of you who follow our dog training tales, here is a recap of what’s currently on our dog training dock / dog training wish list.

dog training plan dog training wish list

Because of time constraints, including that most formal dog training lessons require me to drive at least an hour each way, things I can train at home are probably easier to fit in than others. But, I also need to have the time and patience to do clicker work. Clearly, that isn’t something you should do when crabby.

But, I also came across this interesting video 2011 Canis Film Festival recently that shows a dog learning how to do visual matching. Long-time readers might recall we attempted to teach scent alerting and scent matching years ago (without much luck). I would think visual matching is even harder than that.

It looks like fun … though somewhat expensive since you have to have TWO of every item you want to use in the process of teaching the dog to recognize then choose the matching item.


About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. Training has become even more complicated with two dogs. I’m trying to use the clicker but often don’t have it on me so I use tongue clicks instead. Latte appears to be very treat motivated and is much more attentive than Java. This doesn’t mean she’s more obedient, just that she watches for treat opportunities and I think she would be a good agility and trick dog. She sure has energy and is very bold.

  2. Good luck with the clicker – we recently tried using one with ours and the smallest (a Miniature Schanuzer) was petrified. She ended up running out of the room and hiding on her bed in the kitchen. Not sure we’ll be giving it another go 😉

    1. Thanks, Matt, for your note. Have you tried using a different kind of clicker or a lid from a bottle of Snapple? There are options that make a softer noise for dogs who shy from the full on clicker noise. I bought one of the iclicks for Lilly, but she found that one terrifying, so we use the traditional clicker. I do know of MANY other dogs who find the traditional clicker too loud and upsetting.

      You can also use a marker word instead or a noise you make with your mouth, but it isn’t as fast or efficient as the clicker.

  3. Great video, I am going to work with my dog’s this way. I love the practical applications it will offer. I am always losing one of my gloves, glasses ect. It will be a great help to have my dog go and find it for me. Thanks for your ideas.

  4. Oh, great idea having those training goals. So far this spring, the only goals I’ve had regarding the dogs is to make sure I don’t forget meds twice a day and getting them to vet appointments!

  5. Oooh, I love the Canis Film Festival entries. I’ve learned quite a bit from them over the years. It’s really hard to fit in all that we need for our dogs, to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. I share some of the issues you have. And yes, the Humane Society Boulder Valley has great Control Unleashed classes!

    Also, thanks so much for mentioning the American Treibball Association through the Treibball link, too. We will have new classes after our Trainer’s Academy that takes place the first week in May.

  6. Ok, so I watched this and could not focus on the dog because I kept trying to understand what she was saying. “‘kay I say so” is what it sounded like. Wouldn’t you choose a one word command for this?

    1. I wondered what verbal cue she was using as well. I assumed she speaks another language and that maybe what sounded like a phrase is really a word.

      While indeed a single word often works best for dog training, there are times when a few words can work. We have several cues that are two words. I’m trying to think of when I might use three words, but I’m coming up blank at the moment.

  7. I’ve heard GREAT things about their classes! I just wish they were at a better time for me – like on weekends.

  8. oooh where are you taking a controlled unleash class? I’ve been trying to find one to take. There was one with Training with Grace in JeffCo this Spring, but I didnt have the money.. The only other ones I can find are up in Boulder (too far for me).

    1. Well, Aly, assuming I can find the time and money for it … we would probably drive to Boulder and take a CU class up at the humane society.

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