Stress and distraction training

When distractions are introduced in training, your dog may not respond as you expect. As a result, you may become a little frustrated, taking the attitude, "How could you do this to me?" Buddy senses your feelings and becomes apprehensive and anxious. He only understands that you're upset, but he doesn't understand why. Unless you now calm him and yourself, and you reassure him that he's a good boy and should keep trying, your training session will deteriorate to the point where all learning stops.

Prepare to be patient when you first introduce your dog to training with distractions. Naturally, Buddy is going to be distracted (that's the point!), but over time, he'll learn to respond the way you want. If you feel yourself becoming distraught, it's time to take five.

¿¡tiM^ When you take your Canine Good Citizen test (see Chapter 12), remain calm and control any nervousness you may experience. Your dog is acutely aware of your emotions, which are likely to interfere with his performance. Remember, the object of training and of the test is to make a positive experience for both you and your dog.

Most of the tests for the Canine Good Citizen involve some form of distraction. You need to monitor your dog's reaction to these distractions so that you can help him cope. One test requires you be out of your dog's sight for three minutes, which can be a source of significant stress to your dog. You need to introduce him to and condition him for this exercise in such a way that any stress he may experience is minimized.

Try to make every new exercise or distraction a positive experience for your dog. A favorable introduction will have a positive long-term impact. The first impression leaves the most lasting impact. Whenever you introduce your dog to a new exercise or distraction, make it as pleasant and as stress free as possible so that it leaves a neutral, if not favorable, impression.

Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

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