Lesson 1, Topic 1
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Step 3 How To Control Your Dog

Step 3 – How To Control Your Dog

We want the dog to be proud that he won the bite pillow or a sleeve. We also wish for him to remain composed. We do not want to run around the field and away from the Handler. If he does – please revisit COME under Foundations. He needs to be able to be next to the Handler while being calm.

You can practice this while you are playing with a ball. You would place the dog on your left side, hold him under his chin with one hand and the other hand is on the side of his head. He should accept this and remain calm. If the dog is not composed, you will use your Negative Market. If the dog is calm, you will continue playing with him as reinforcement.

The dog needs to learn early on that he and the Handler are fighting together against the Helper. It is a joint effort.

We will show you in the upcoming videos how to successfully control your dog without diminishing drive.

Control of a Puppy

This exercise can be done with a Helper or by yourself with the dog on a Flexpole.

In our system, we try to break all exercises in small parts. Play with the dog and get him used to having a hand under his chin. It is essential that you use your marker while your hand is still under the dog’s chin. Do not release and then mark it. Place the hand under the chin, mark, and release. Play with the dog as a reinforcement – 00:17 sec.

Then you would cradle the chin and place yourself next to the dog. You can also pet him with the free hand – 00:36 sec. Remember not to “out” right away.

You always mark when the dog is at his calmest.

We recommend practicing this early on. If you add a Helper – there will be so much drive making it hard for the dog to learn how to accept being cradled.

Control of an 8-Month Old Puppy

The higher the drive level, the higher the control it requires. When you are communicating with your dog, it has to be black and white:

  • If you are calm – we can continue the game.
  • If you are not calm – we cannot continue the game until you are calm.

Sometimes, when you attempt to help the dog be calm, he might spit his prey out. You need to tell him NO and put the pillow back into his mouth. You are the one making the decisions.

In the video, you can see that in the dog’s mind bite pillow is equal to overstimulation. He can either hold the pillow and be spastic, or he cannot hold it. Once he can do hold without being locomotive even for a second, Tobias marks and continues the game – 02:32 sec. Do not have high expectations, take a little victory and build upon it.

Please do not get mad at the dog and do not take his behavior personally. He just does not understand the requirements.

It is crucial you do not proceed with your protection training until the dog can remain calm while holding a ball or a bite pillow.