Scentventure Compass Point: Environment
Just like Sausage Logs, we can practice Bear for fun and fast focus any time, or for calm and confidence after spotting a trigger. Shoulders high, chest out – this is the ultimate power pose for dogs! There is just something about this position that dogs gets so much confidence from.
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.
Stations to try Bear on: footstool, step, log, tree trunk, solid box, solid suitcase, curb, chair, kerb, bike rack, bench, your thigh!
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’.
Can your dog stay in Bear position longer? If your dog knows “wait” or “stay”, you can cue that. If not, build duration slowly 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.
Top Tip! Train Bear on your thigh like Lucy and Bo…
‘’Bo and I had an amazing partnership WIN in capital letters this morning!
Since our scary encounter with offlead Bouncy Barney a couple of months ago, I’ve been trying to help him feel safe outside and taking inspiration from Terri Conlon and Bella I started to crouch down with him if he gets spooked or looking uncertain. This has developed into him doing Bear on my legs when he needs a bit of reassurance… and ok yes sometimes when he wants extra treats… but I figure if it helps him feel safe then why not!
So today he got spooked by something (I think an old lady with a walking frame) and he started to go into flight mode, speeding up and ears flapping. I said, ‘I’m here Bo it’s ok’ and he turned his head briefly and then STOPPED and came to do Bear on me and get scritches. I am absolutely over the moon… and also need to put another load of washing on due to muddy paw marks! Also here for good measure is him trotting past some roadworks… a few months back he would refuse to go anywhere near road cones!’’
– Lucy & Bo