What should your pup do when they don't know what to do?

Teach your dog what to do when they don’t know what to do.

Most puppies begin to pick some self control behavior as you begin to work on their training. They may be fairly persistent in performing their sit or down for example. They may naturally do something when they are in an overwhelming situation as they asses what is going on. Just notice what they tend to do. That is behavior plus a taught orientation behavior (eye contact, orient to mom) is something you can reinforce as a default behavior.

Dog’s have an innately strong desire to get information (from you, from the environment, from other dogs...).

Set up circumstances where you temporarily ignore dog and catch them offering a piece of what you ultimately are going to be ok with. This might start with rewarding when the leash goes loose, then over time, when they turn toward you, then when they are acting settled, then when watching your face, then when resting at side.

It is stressful for a dog to not know what is going to happen next. Conversely they become very attached to their routines and will notice patterns and get very excited when they can predict what will happen (hence the reason you will establish a regular routine of preparing for a run so your dog will look forward to all the unknowns of the run itself with excitement, because at least they know its an agility run, like class, like practice...)

Having something they can try when unsure what to do gives them a safety net and it also tells you something about where your dog's head is at.

My only tip is don't let pawing at you, pestering you, leaping into your arms, nudging your arm etc. become the default behavior.

© 2017 by Andrea Dexter @ Agilityflix