The Environment activities follow a fun ‘Mission Scentventure’ theme! You and your dog are about to set forth on a journey through the forest!
Your dog is King of the Forest, front feet on a boulder, nose in the air!
Dog puts their two front feet on an obstacle.
Find an obstacle that your dog can safely put both front feet onto. Start with a low object that is not big enough for your dog to get up onto with all four paws.
Great for confidence building!
How to train
1. Lure your dog up onto the obstacle with food. Use your marker word and reward them with the food from your hand.
2. Once your dog is confidently and smoothly following the lure, remove the food and use just your hand for your dog to follow. Mark and reward.
3. Once your dog is confidently and smoothly following your hand without a lure, add a verbal cue just before you begin. Mark and reward. The verbal cue is ‘Bear’.
4. Once your dog is listening to the cue and performing the behaviour, start a short distance away and walk up to the obstacle together.
Only move on when you can get 5/5 confidently and smoothly at each stage. You must be able to tick off all of the boxes on the download before linking them together.
The Three Ds of dog training: distance, duration and distraction. We can use these to increase the challenge for our dogs. Choose just one to focus on per training session.
Distance is how far away you are from your dog when they perform the task. The farther away you get, the harder your dog is likely to find it. When you’re adding distance, start close and build slowly.
Duration is the length of time your dog stays in position. Some behaviours don’t have a duration factor, such as jumping in the ‘rabbit’ challenge. Behaviours like ‘sit’ or ‘bear’ do require your dog to hold the position longer. The longer we ask them to hold it, the more difficult the task becomes. Be sure to start with a very short duration, just one second and build slowly.
Distraction involves whatever else is going on around your dog at the time, from a deer running across the mountain to a thunderstorm. If your dog finds it exciting or disrupting, it’s a distraction.
Example: add duration to Bear
Your dog must hold their resolve. Can they stay in Bear position longer? If your dog knows “wait” or “stay”, you can cue that. If not, build duration incrementally by delaying your marker and reward. Or, feed in position with a rapid rate of treat delivery then slow it down. Feeding your dog while they are still in position rather than after they’ve moved reinforces the idea that the good things happen when they are in that position.