Instructor: Chrissi Schranz
Too much work, and too little time? Too exhausted to train your dog at the end of a busy day? Feeling guilty for not having exercised her enough? Come join us in Finding Five!
We’ll be looking at 5 common training obstacles and find creative and practical solutions for each of them, and you'll learn to ...
- find untapped pockets of training time in your busy life
- write training plans
- break down larger goals into 5-minute sessions or less
- tackle the hardships of deciding what to work on (and which dog to work)
- strengthen known behaviors with proofing and generalization games
- explore your relationship with your dog in written assignments that will help you increase your motivation to train, play, or simply spend time with her.
Most of this class can be done indoors and in small spaces.
Next session starts: December 1, 2018Registration starts: November 22, 2018Registration ends: December 15, 2018
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: 25 students, Bronze: unlimited.
If you are interested in a bronze level subscription, you can sign up at any time during the registration period.
1. Welcome to Class!
2. Finding Time to Train
3. 5 Common Training Obstacles
4. The Multi-Dog Dilemma
5. The Decision Dilemma: Record Keeping and Accountability
6. The Perfection Dilemma: Making Molehills out of Mountains (aka Breaking Down Your Goals)
7. The Lack-of-Cookies Dilemma
8. The Comfortable-Couch Dilemma
1. Shape it Up!
2. Generalization Games
3. Proofing Madness
4. 5-Minute Food Toy Fun
5. Errand Training
6. Manic Monday Training
7. Household Tricks
8. Fast-Paced Fun
1. Your Dog and You
2. The Bernhard Jar
3. Write a Letter to Your Dog!
4. Read Your Dog’s Reply!
5. Self-Care Assignment for Two
6. Your Dog and You - Reassess Your Relationship!
The order of the lectures, games and assignments may be subject to change.
There are no prerequisites. However, in order to get the most out of this class, your team should be familiar with shaping, have a few behaviors on a verbal cue, and a training goal in mind - even if it’s a vague one.
You’ll need …
- a serious lack of training time
- a dog
- lots of treats
- a timer (your phone will work)
- a die and a game piece
- more dogs!
- a flip chart or whiteboard
- a shot glass and the adult beverage of your choice
Game 3: Proofing Madness
We can proof behaviors for distractions, duration, and distance. You’ve probably done this lots of times and are getting bored with it. Well, let’s proof for something else and significantly more fun: various body positions!
I made a game for you! Here’s how it goes.
- Download the board in full size (.pdf) from my Google Drive with this link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-U9K7Zs7gtNNHBxRFpHanF5azQ (.pdf)
- Print it out - if you have a color printer, it’ll look especially nice.
- Get your timer, a die, and a piece to move through the street of bones. If you don’t have anything else, use a coin or a dog treat as your piece. You’ll also need lots of cookies for your dog, and a clicker if you want to use one.
- Make a list of three behaviors you want to proof. You can use whatever you want - competition behaviors, tricks, or life skills. However, choose three fluent behaviors on a verbal cue - it’s unfair to your dog if she doesn’t know them well yet, or relies on hand signals! In my video example, I’m using the positions sit, down, and stand.
- Test if your dog can do the three behaviors when you cue them the way you usually do (probably standing in front of her and looking at her). If she can’t do one of them, switch it out for a different behavior. It’s important to use well-known behaviors your dog has on a verbal cue.
- Put your piece on the red “Start” bone.
- Set your timer to 5 minutes. You’ll keep playing until the timer rings, no matter how often you go around the board.
- Roll the die.
- Move your piece according to your roll.
- Do what the bone you end up on tells you to, and cue your dog to do the first behavior on your 3-behavior list. For example, if you rolled a 4, you’d lie down on the floor and cue your dog from this position.
- Only say your cue once. If your dog performs the behavior, mark and reward!
- If she doesn’t perform the behavior, work on it! Think about how you could make your body position a little easier … Maybe instead of lying down, you just lean forward with your upper body. Say your cue again. If your dog performs correctly, mark and reward! Now, make it a tiny little bit harder - maybe by means of leaning further forward. Mark and reward again if she does it! Gradually make it harder until you can lie down as specified in the bone your piece ended up on!
- Once your dog can do it, roll the die again, and play the next round - with the second behavior on your proofing list!
- After the third behavior on your proofing list, start with the first one again.
- Any time you end up on a green bone, feed your dog a free treat, and roll the die again for the next round.
- Any time you want to skip one of the positions the board is asking you to do, give your dog a free treat instead.
- The game ends as soon as the timer rings.
- Make a new list with different behaviors every time you play this game.
Grit and I are demoing Proofing Madness:
Handle mistakes the same way I do in the video: stay cheerful and praise your dog for the effort. Make sure you’re both having a good time! If your dog is very sensitive about making mistakes, throw a reset cookie whenever she makes a mistake.
You’ll realize that some positions are easier than others. Every once in a while, you might end up stuck on one and the same bone for the entire game, working on making your position just a little bit harder in every rep in order to get your dog to perform the behavior you asked for. That’s okay, too! Here’s Grit and I trying to get a handle on “Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out” for our entire session:
Note how I make sure to keep her interested and in the game, and avoid frustrating her. End the session after 5 minutes in either case - it’s not fun for your dog to work on one and the same behavior for a long time.
Desperate Dog Trainer Version: Proofing Madness - The Drinking Game
- For the Desperate Dog Trainer Version of Proofing Madness, you’ll need two additional things: the alcoholic beverage of your choice, and a shot glass. Yes, you need a shot glass even if you play with wine or beer. That’s because drinking games are supposed to be played with shot glasses! If you were Austrian, you’d probably play with pear Schnaps and be drunk by the end of one round.
- The rules stay the same as in the basic version, except:
- Have a shot every time your dog does not follow your cue. If you have to work on making a particular position easier and raise criteria too quickly, you may well be drinking more than one shot while still stuck on the same bone!
- Have a shot any time you want to skip one of the positions the board is asking you to do.
Even More Desperate Dog Trainer Version: Proofing Madness - The Drinking Game 2.0
- In addition to the rules for Proofing Madness - The Drinking Game, you’ll have a shot every time you end up on a green bone, and every time you end up on a blue bone. Your dog still gets her free cookie on the green bone, too. After all, she has to put up with her drunk handler whose cues are getting harder and harder to understand! Heck, give her a free cookie on the blue bone, too!
- If you want to play with more than one dog, just take turns asking them for behaviors.
- If you want to play with more than one dog-handler team, every player needs their own piece. The handlers take turns rolling the die, moving their piece, and asking their dog to perform a behavior. Every dog has her own list of three behaviors - they don’t need to be the same.
Print out the board (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-U9K7Zs7gtNNHBxRFpHanF5azQ), and play! Let’s see some of it in your homework thread!
If you are looking for a drinking buddy, ask who wants to play with you on the discussion board, exchange Skype contacts - and voilà, here comes your multi-player dog training drinking game, to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own living room!