Barking Dogs, Caterwauling Cats & Attention

I’m continuing to enjoy the attention training which is the first foundation behavior in the Canine Freestyle Course in which I’m currently enrolled.  Last weekend, I took the practice outside for the first time.  Nothing like a barking dog and caterwauling cat to provide some distractions.  In reality, I think the cat was more of a distraction to me than Gibson.

Outside with more distractions  meant I needed to back up a few steps and make it easy for Gibson to succeed, so I began by marking very short durations of attention, then slowly inched up the length of time, always attempting to vary the length so as not to always make it more difficult.  I want him to practice his successes, not his mistakes.

At the start of each training session, I also have to remember that I’m still working on getting him to a default stand vs. sit.  If I wait too long to mark attention, he’ll offer a sit, so I must remember to also click him for standing.  It’s really been helpful to have the flipcam so that I can review the training session and see how I can tweak the training in my continued efforts to always have clean training.

Gibson did quite well, indeed, while working outside.  This weekend, we’re going to get in a little platform work.  Have platform, will work!

Lisa Lyle Waggoner is the author of The Original Rocket Recall™: Teach Your Dog to Come. She’s a CPDT-KA, a CSAT (Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer), a Pat Miller Certified Trainer Level 2, Faculty for the Victoria Stilwell Academy of Dog Training and Behavior, a dog*tec Certified Professional Dog Walker and the founder of Cold Nose College in Murphy, North Carolina. The company’s trainers enjoy providing virtual behavior consulting and training solutions to clients around the globe and offers coaching, mentoring and behavior case support for pet professionals.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *