Station training is a valuable skill that can significantly benefit you and your dog. By teaching your dog to go to a specific area and remain there until given permission to release, you can address various situations more effectively. Whether you’re enjoying a meal, entertaining guests, or working with another dog, having the ability to send your dog to their designated spot can make your life a lot easier. In this blog post, we will explore the practical applications of station training and provide some valuable tips to get started.
Why Station Training?
Instead of simply instructing your dog to “go away” or “leave me alone,” station training offers a clear target and purpose. It’s much easier for dogs to understand and perform a specific behavior associated with a designated area. This becomes particularly useful when you’re engaged in activities like cleaning, taking calls, or relaxing in front of the television. By training your dog to go to their station, you can prevent them from getting underfoot and provide them with a designated space to observe and relax.
Station Training Promotes Desirable Behaviors
Does your dog tend to jump on guests or incessantly beg at the dinner table? Station training provides a practical solution by replacing these undesirable behaviors with an acceptable alternative: chilling on a designated bed or mat. When your dog is stationed in their spot, they can’t jump on guests or snatch food from the table. This helps create a more controlled and pleasant environment for you and your visitors.
Enhancing Impulse Control with Station Training
Dogs often struggle with impulse control, acting on opportunities without much thought. You may find them jumping all over guests or chasing after the cat without considering the consequences. Station training can help improve their impulse control by teaching the dog that staying in their designated spot will earn them rewards. As your dog learns to hang out on their station, their ability to resist impulsive behaviors will strengthen.
If you’re ready to embark on the station training journey, consider enrolling in our group training classes for comprehensive guidance. However, if you prefer to start at home, here’s what you’ll need:
- A comfortable dog bed, mat, or cot.
- A generous supply of small, chewy treats.
- A quiet space for practice.
While any rug or dog bed can suffice, I recommend using a raised cot for station training. The elevated platform provides a clear boundary for your dog, making it less likely for them to step off the station accidentally.
To begin, scatter some treats on the station and encourage your dog to eat them. If your dog feels unsure or fearful, reward them for merely looking at the station. As their confidence grows, wait for them to approach or sniff the station before giving them a treat.
Once your dog shows interest in the station, toss a treat on the other side and encourage them to retrieve it. As they return to you, prompt them to get on the station. When your dog successfully gets on the station, throw several treats, one at a time, onto the bed. If they decide to hop off, the treats stop, but if they remain on the station, continue rewarding them every few seconds by tossing treats onto the cot.
If you’re eager to learn the next steps of place training, we invite you to join our Basic Manners class. These classes, held on Saturday mornings and Monday evenings throughout the year, cater to dogs of all ages and breeds. Led by experienced trainers, our small classes utilize positive reinforcement methods to ensure your dog learns quickly and enjoys the training process. For more information and to sign up, please visit our website.
Embark on the journey of station training and discover how this valuable skill can transform your dog’s behavior and your overall relationship!