Here is a short video of Alfie having some fun with me while getting a mental workout. Mentally draining a dog is just as important as physically, and when you combine the two, you get a happy, content dog and a happy, content owner!
When working with your dog, communication is critical and this is why I am marking the good behaviors as well as the bad.
Where most people fall a little short is marking the good behaviors. It’s human nature to target the bad, but it is very important to let the dog know that they are doing what we ask by marking the good. You can see that there was no hesitation or confusion during the whole sequence. Even when he didn’t get it quite right, all I had to do was give him the marker that he hadn’t done what I asked and he fixed himself quickly. This is all because time was taken at the beginning of training to create a language and a dialogue with the dog that then is applied to every aspect of training. The dog is less stressed even when things might be going wrong because they have the assurance and trust in the process.
I work hard to make sure the dogs I train have a system of clear communication that is consistent no matter the situation or environment. This leads to a trusting and confident dog, which leads to a dog with very high control, which leads to a dog that can do some amazing things!