Instructor: Heather Lawson
Learn the skills and manners that will help to prepare you and your dog to take the Canine Good Neighbour (CGN), Canine Good Citizen (CGC) or Urban Dog (CGCU) Certification tests. Today's dog leads a much busier life. They live in condo's and houses, need to travel on public transit, walk the crowded city streets, attend all kinds of events and even hang out at the coffee shop. Oh, and did we forget - just learn to chill at home. Let's give your dog the skills he can use for everyday living, whether in your home or out 'n about town with you.
This class will cover:
Connected Loose Leash Walking
Out 'N About Excursions
Recalls - Verbals & Whistles
Piper's Puppy Adventure - Visiting The Local Market
There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.
Registration will begin at 9:30 AM Pacific Time.
For answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 12 students, Silver: 10 students, Bronze: unlimited.
Silver level for this class is offered as "Working Silver". In addition to asking GENERAL clarification questions about the class lecture materials, silver students will now have the opportunity to submit two short videos, one minute each, for critique and review. You may submit two questions. Each question MUST have a one minute video attached so the instructor can actually answer a question that they can see. The question must relate to a topic in the class and the video must be a demo of the question. Please see the discussion forum for a detailed explanation - feel free to sign up at bronze, read the explanation, and then come back here to upgrade to silver if that interests you, and if space is available.
If you are interested in a bronze level subscription, you can sign up at any time during the registration period.
1. Equipment Options
2. But I Know My Name
3. Reviewing The Basics - Say Please With A Sit
4. Connected Walking - Getting from A to B
5. Leave It - Mind Your Own Business
6. Coffee Anyone? Settle as the world goes by
7. Transportation - Riding the rails 'n wheels (public transportation access is not required)
8. Ups & Downs - Elevator Etiquette
9. Do Nothing Training - Just Chilling!
10. Open Doors
11. Come Back - PLEASE - Verbal & Whistle Recalls
12. Switching Sides - Left, Right & Follow Me
None. However, if you have the basic behaviours of sit, down that would be awesome and very helpful
Equipment: Flat buckle collar, Martingale Collar or Harness
6 ft leash (leather or nylon are most common)
Long line for safety (15-20ft) if you feel you need one
5+ Different types of REALLY, REALLY high value treats your dogs is happy to get
This lecture will assume you and your dog have already ridden in an elevator and will focus on how you enter, exit and position your dog while riding. Conditioning your dog to be comfortable while riding will not be covered in this lecture.
Although you may think what I'm about to say should be common sense you'd be surprised how many people don't have "common sense". As a result, they get into a negative situation that quite possibly could have been avoided with a little forethought.
We want riding an elevator to be a positive experience for both our dogs and others. One way to ensure this is to maintain elevator etiquette at all times. This means that your dog should not approach people uninvited, should be protected from unwanted contact with people or other dogs and/or the possibility of being stepped on. Elevator etiquette applies whether your dog is big or small. Rules need to be maintained at all times. Meaning that you should not allow your dog to approach a person in the elevator one time simply because the person likes dogs and then the next not allow an approach when the dog tries to do so. To lessen confusion for your dog be consistent so they are successful and understand the rules for riding in the small moving box. Confined spaces in and of themselves present many issues so let's not add to those issues by allowing our dogs to do as they please. Not everyone likes dogs so we need to respect that to ensure we have continued public access.
The Door Dashers lecture was set up to enable you to transfer open door behaviour and skills to other areas or environments; elevators included. The opening of elevator doors often triggers shotgun entrances or exits so you will want to work on your door manners prior to practising your Elevator Etiquette if they are currently a little iffy.
We want our dogs to wait when the elevator doors open whether we are waiting to enter or about to exit the elevator. This allows people already on the elevator to exit before we enter or to exit ahead of us so we can easily exit last with our dogs.
WAITING FOR THE ELEVATOR
When you're waiting for an elevator be polite and do not stand directly in front of the doors as this blocks people from exiting. Stand off to the side; either the left or right, to allow people to exit the elevator. Ask your dog to sit close by your side preferably in heel position. Depending upon your dog you may wish to shorten your lead to limit wandering and to ensure there is no chance of the lead getting cause in the door when it closes. When the last person has exited cue your dog to move with you to enter the elevator.
**NOTE: Never, Ever, EVER drop your leash when entering or exiting the elevator. Consider this an EXTREME WARNING for your dog's safety and the safety of others. A leash getting caught in an elevator door could mean the life of your dog.
ENTERING THE ELEVATOR
How you position yourself within the elevator will depend upon whether the elevator is empty or has people (or dogs) in it. An empty elevator will allow you more leeway as opposed to an elevator that already has people or a dog in it. In either case, you will always try to go to one of the 4 corners of the elevator and your dog should always be positioned so they are against a wall. This may not be possible in all instances but it should be what you shoot for.
The reason we're looking for corners and the wall beside our dogs is that they protect our dogs from being bumped or stepped on and intrusion by others (people or dogs). This positioning allows us to act as a buffer. There is nothing worse than having your dog sitting and someone coming into the elevator not paying attention, dragging their luggage over or stepping on your dogs tail. When you're against a wall this cannot happen. You might say well I'll just have my dog stand. You could but then there is more of an inclination for your dog to move around and perhaps cause a problem, so better to have them sit nicely and protected beside you. Besides in a sitting position they take up less room.
Which side you walk your dog on will initially determine which side of the elevator you go to once you enter. However, you need to be able and prepared to quickly switch your dog to the opposite side BEFORE entering the elevator if it contains people or another dog.
Generally, most of us walk our dogs on the left but some do walk their dogs on the right. I will be giving instructions for those who are lefties. If you're a righty then simply reverse the instructions.
1. Enter the elevator and go to the back wall /right corner
2. Make a turn in the corner to your right and face the door, this will put your dog on your left closest to the elevator wall.
3. Cue them to sit and then press your floor.
4. The dog should remain sitting until you exit, even if the elevator door opens to allow more passengers.
People / Dogs In The Elevator:
Where and how you enter will be dependant upon where the passengers on the elevator are standing. Before entering quickly assess where you will go and switch which side your dog will need to be on BEFORE entering. If at all possible head for either back corner. If the back corners are taken then, of course, choose one of the front corners. Front corners mean you still do a tight turn so you end up facing the front door and your dog is against the elevator wall but now in the front corner versus the back corner.
If you go to a rear corner but cannot reach to push your floor button don't be shy. Ask a passenger if they would mind pressing your floor for you. They won't mind at all especially if your dog is sitting politely and quietly at your side.
Here are two diagram examples of how you would place yourself within the elevator based on passengers. Remember that if you are taking the left back corner you will need to switch your dog to your right BEFORE entering. If there were people in the back of the elevator only, then you would use the front corners on either side.
Elevator Example A
Elevator Example B
EXITING THE ELEVATOR
When you exit will depend upon where you are in the elevator. If you are at the rear you will wait until everyone has exited before you and your dog exit. If you happen to be at the front then bonus you get to get off first so you can get out of the way of the other passengers. If you are getting off on your floor then you will have to pass others to exit.
1. Watch the floor numbers so you will be prepared to leave quickly when you reach your floor. You don't want to be caught off guard wondering if this is your floor or not or if you've reached the lobby area.
2. At the back - wait until everyone exits before moving and exiting
3. At the front - exit immediately and MOVE out of the way so other passengers can easily and quickly exit.
Exiting on Your Floor:
Again be prepared to exit by watching the floor numbers. As your floor number comes up, prepare the other passengers by saying "THIS IS OUR FLOOR - Excuse Us". This helps notify them you will be exiting and prepares them to move if necessary to allow you to exit. It also informs them that you are moving to exit so they don't get a surprise bump from you as you move to allow your dog to exit with you.
BIG DOG vs. LITTLE DOG
As I mentioned the above etiquette rules apply no matter the size of your dog. However, depending on your little dog you may wish to change it up a bit especially if there is already a larger or other dogs on board.
In the case of smaller pick-up size dogs, I generally encourage people to pick their dogs up when there are people or other larger dogs on board. It can be quite intimidating for a little dog to enter when a larger dog like my GSD is sitting there looking down at them. Picking up also prevents your little one from inadvertently getting squished in the passenger rush or getting their feet caught as they pass over the sometimes wide doorway threshold.
If you're picking your small dog up you will still be doing the same 4 corner procedures depending upon passengers or dogs already on board. Being against the wall and in a corner protects your little one from nose investigations of other dogs as you're standing and keeps people from reaching out uninvited, to pet your dog. Not all little dogs like to be molested by every tom dick 'n harry so your position in the corner helps to discourage this unwanted contact.
Your exiting procedures will also be the same. If you're in the back, you leave last. If you're in the front you leave first and MOVE well out of the way before you put your dog back on the ground.
PRACTISING YOUR ELEVATOR ETIQUETTE
A good way to ensure smooth entries and exits is to practice them. Often times people will say I don't have access to an elevator to practice what can I do? Think outside the box. Your elevator doesn't have to be in a hotel, business building or high traffic area to practice. Often times multi-level parkades have elevators that are pretty much low pedestrian traffic; meaning you're not often going to have a full elevator to contend with. More likely you'll be travelling by yourself or at the very least have just a few passengers at a time. It's a perfect situation. If it's a really low pedestrian traffic area you can even just practice specific exercises. In all these instances you'll be rewarding your dog for maintaining the position which will help to condition and maintain a positive association with the moving box:
1. Doors opening and closing without getting on
2. Doors opening and closing while in the elevator without going anywhere
3. Getting on/off elevator, doors opening and closing without going anywhere
4. Just riding the elevator with people getting on/off
A sampling of what prior students have said about this course ....
It was another great experience for me and my dog! We had a great time following this course. Every day is better for us and I´m so grateful my dog is doing progress! The lessons are very clear and effective. Now me and my dog are totally new team and our relationship reaches new quality. Thank you very much for this opportunity.
Brilliant LLW walking protocol. Until now the only method I'd seen used by R+ trainers was the whole "freeze until the leash is loose again" bit which I'd found to be only marginally helpful. It was the same situation with old school about face turns and collar corrections. The method taught in this class works beautifully and painlessly for both dog and handler. Thanks!
It was a great class after a Life Skills class I took at the local R+ training facility. This one was very focused on the good-manners part, so it was very good follow of that life-skills class.
Great Class! All behaviors that we could work on right away. Absolutely the most useful class for everyday behaviors that have taken. Thanks!
Loved it all, but especially touch me please, elevator etiquette, and chill out. I'd like to see another class building on what we've learned in this one.
Pip already had a great recall, but now she has the best recall ever! I also liked the detail with the loose leash walking part of the class. We had a lot of fun.
Thank you for an effective LLW walking protocol! Nice clear videos and descriptions! This was my second bronze class with you as an instructor and I think you're wonderful.
This class was a great continuation after LLW Anonymous. We took it so we could continue working on our loose leash walking skills. Heather did a great job at adapting to our level and offered suggestions on some other out around town topics that weren't covered in the class. Highly recommend