New Classes

Hiking with Friends!

Fun While Learning, a Hike with my Friends

Duration: 5 Weeks Cost: $140

Location: Revolving, new each week.

Dates: TBD

Time: TBD, class duration approximately 1.5 hours


If you are interested in an upcoming class please send us a note at tricia@yourthinkingdog.com. Thank you!


Overall objectives:  

Walking your dog should be a pleasurable experience for both our pups and us.  However, we all know that sometimes it isn’t.  Our dogs worry about unexpected creatures and experiences and we worry about their reactions and behavior. This class will work to make walking easier and reduce stress.  Each week we will meet in a different place; at first it will be in places with little traffic from dogs and people to enhance basic skills.  As we progress we will move to places with more human and dog traffic to up the pressure and distractions with the goal to make a walk anywhere a good experience.  As always, between class practice in places where you are comfortable will make all the difference.


Objectives:

Shy Dogs Build confidence and trust of new people, dogs and locations.  By keeping the first two variables consistent, dogs and people, your pup will learn to trust anywhere, anytime through generalization.

Reactive Dogs – Learn to feel good around other dogs and see that it’s “safe” to be around other dogs.

Confident, Balanced Dogs – Have new experiences and take behaviors like recall to a new level.

Our “Exuberant” Friends – We all know I’m talking about Olive… Dogs learn that remaining calm and connected to their person in the face of a myriad of distractions.


Week 1:  Loose Leash Walking – we will start in a fairly remote area.  Somewhere we can have space and everyone can just be comfortable with each other.  We will start with a standard 6 ft. leash and practice the skills that lead to the end of your pup pulling on their leash and walking a good pace next to you.  Dogs smell things in the environment much more that we do, so some of the skills involve allowing them to explore, but doing so with your approval.  Look at That (LAT) is our primary skill.  It is a reward redirection that when your pup sees, smells, or hears something new, you can get their attention back onto you.


Week 2:  Recall 1 – Again in a low traffic area, we would suggest using a long leash, I use a 30 ft. leash.  We will allow the pups to expand their distance with the longer lead.  Practice come, letting them explore, and then call away, rewarding when they return (Premack Principle).  Repeating that exercise gives your pup confidence to explore their surroundings, and builds your trust that when you call them, they will come back no matter what.  


Week 3:  Up the distractions – This week we will go somewhere that has increased human and dog traffic.  Using our standard 6 ft. leashes we will continue to build our Loose Leash Walking and LAT skills with the additional traffic as the work.  Lots of treats and lots of attention to your dog.


Week 4:  Recall 2 – In a similar higher traffic location we will use the longer leashes to work on Come When Called.  Depending upon your experience you can allow your pup a distance you are comfortable with while practicing recall when there are distractions.  Our goal is to both allow some walking freedom to your pup and also give you the confidence when you call they will come back to you.


Week 5:  Putting it all together – A walk in a high traffic location; think Schoen Place in Pittsford. Short leash, walking on the canal, and maybe getting some ice cream! All the while having the confidence that your pup can see new sights, sounds, and smells, while still being able to maintain their focus upon you.


End of Class Goals:  Be confident when out with your dog so that you both are ready and able to handle any situation.  You have the tools to be successful, have learned how to read your dog's body language, and are able to support your dog as needed.