Halloween is on the way and with it, a great dog training opportunity! If in years past you have feared October 31st, not because of the scary costumes, but due to the doorbell ringing repeatedly and the chaos that follows from your dog, then this might be the article for you!
This year, as ghosts and goblins, or whatever the kids are dressing as these days, start coming around your neighborhood, embrace the once a year dog training opportunity. By following the steps below, you can turn this often hectic night into a great time to teach your pup an “on your bed” command using real distractions.
1) Be sure your dog is hungry and have a human helper if possible, it’ll just work much better.
2) Grab some good dog treats and have them in an easily accessible place, for you not your pup. These treats should be something that you very rarely give your dog but he/she will nearly do back flips for a taste. In other words, the normal biscuits just won’t cut it, well, unless you have a Lab then it may work.
3) Set out something for your dog to lay on. The object has to be different from the ground but can be a dog bed, sheet, towel, rug, etc.
4) Attach a short leash to your dog’s collar. This one will probably become important a little later on.
5) Do a few practice runs. Holding the leash in one hand, throw a few treats onto the bed, or whatever you are using, and say “on your bed”. If you chose highly desirable treats, then your dog will most likely race over to eat them up. As soon as your pup eats the treats and is about to walk off the bed, say “okay” to end the command. If your pup just looks at you, then you most likely need better treats.
6) Once your dog starts to get the hang of it, up the ante a little bit. Say your command and lead your pup to the bed, but don’t have treats on there. Wait to give your dog treats until all four paws are on the bed. Repeat a few times until it looks as if your dog is catching on.
7) Now it’s time for some real dog training! Turn your front porch light on and have a hand on your dog’s leash. As soon as the doorbell rings, say your command, “on your bed”, throw some treats on the bed, and lead your dog over to his/her soon to be new favorite place. Once the treats are gone, remember to say “okay”.
Repeat this process every time the doorbell rings throughout the night. Your dog will begin to form an association that the doorbell ringing means “on your bed” and that is followed by delicious treats. This way, the next time somebody comes to your door on a normal night you won’t be holding your dog back while trying to open the door, he/she will be on the bed already. So, go ahead, turn the front porch light back on and have some dog training fun this Halloween!
Oh and if you are wondering where the helper comes in during all this real life obedience practice, they’re the one giving out the candy so the kids don’t egg your house, your front porch light is on after all.
For more dog training help please Contact Us at 901-310-5826 or info@DogObedienceCollege.com.