You’ve got the behavior down pat in your living room, but once you get outside it completely falls apart. Maybe you want to try the rally or obedience ring, but have no idea how to get from here to there. Perhaps you just want your dog to listen while you visit the lake or your friend’s house. This class will teach you to take the behaviors you have and strengthen them so your dog can perform them with reliability in many places and situations.
You’ll learn how to systematically add distractions in a way to make the behavior stronger, rather than setting the dog up to fail. The word “proofing” sometimes has a negative connotation in dog training, but this class will show you how to use proofing to inspire confidence and resilience in your dog. We’ll also talk about generalization, the process of teaching your dog that the criteria for behaviors is the same regardless of what the picture looks like.
This class will not cover reducing reinforcement because it focuses on getting strong behaviors in any environment, which should happen before the treats are faded. One of the environments we’ll cover is a ring for those who have the goal of competing in obedience and/or rally, but this setup is completely optional and this class doesn’t only focus on teams preparing for competition. Having a few feet of some sort of “gates” and some chairs or tables will be beneficial for those wanting to compete.
Each team will work on a handful of behaviors that can be easily performed in a familiar place with reinforcement present. Working teams need to have 5-6 solid behaviors and the ability to train in several different environments. Once the class is finished, the student will have a blueprint for how to train any behavior to fluency.