Morning Tips !!  This is not any particular tip, however it’s more of a what your dog should know, to be well rounded post.  

Lots of people are joining this group and wondering what they should be working on.  

Regardless of breed, age or behaviour issue, your dog should be working on or know the following… 

1. Crate Training and how to switch off.  Did you know so many issues happen when dogs don’t switch off. Dogs sleep, they need sleep.  Dogs that do not sleep enough often follow you room to room, get restless, counter surf, steal things they shouldn’t, destroy things, have accidents in the house.  Worse problems that arise from this are anxiety based behaviours that could lead to excessive barking at every noise and separation anxiety, it’s also a common reason why dogs resource guard, because they’re always up to no good.  

2. Down ! That’s right, such a basic command, but a proper Down (with implied stay) until released or given further instructions is a game changer.  It means you can use it to help a dog calm down, both inside and outside the house. It means you can take your dog anywhere, pubs, resteraunts or even friends/family houses.  It’s probably the command I use the most, especially when I’m working with other dogs.  

3. Leave It !! That’s right Leave it. This is something your dog must know ! If your dog picks up something and doesn’t understand Leave It, your dog could be in big trouble.  Leave it should be taught from a young age. If you’re implementing point 1 and teaching your dog to switch off, you shouldn’t need to use it half as much and you can focus on making Leave it a positive thing.  

4. Food Refusal ! This is for the same reasons as Leave it. Teach both and your life will be easier, your dog will be safer.  

5. Thresholds ! That’s right, but not just at the front door, all thresholds, crate door, back door, car door, front door, doors and entrances to new environments.  Thresholds teach the dog to be calmer before entering and exiting, they teach the dog impulse control and to slow down and most importantly, they are a life saving skill.  If your dog knows paw, spin, rollover but not thresholds, your priorities are mixed up.  

6. Lead Walking !!  Lead walking is a game changer, do it right, get to the point where you’re in sync, you stop the dog stops, you speed up the dog speeds up, the dog isn’t pulling and checks in with you, you can reduce so many issues.  It’s a great bonding exercise, it’s great for teaching your dog you’re the best thing since sliced bread. You can work on environmental socialising, counter conditioning etc etc during lead walking and it’s safe.  You can tell a lot about a dog and human relationship by how the dog walks on the lead, when the handler has the lead.  The above things everyone should be working on, when they’ve mastered it, then you make it more difficult and add more distractions and temptations (except for point 1) that should be used after training and when food is around.  All of the above should be used in conjunction with AOA and Marker Training and you should be looking to teach these through fun and play, ideally incorporating what your breed was designed to do into the mix.  Example if you have a retriever, then add some retrieves into your training, combined with obedience.   Mastering these will make any serious issues you have, a lot easier to deal with and improve your relationship and communication with your dog.

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