AROUSAL

WHAT YOU ARE TRAINING

You’re teaching the dog to deal with arousal.

WHY YOU SHOULD TRAIN THIS

  • The dog will learn to deal with arousal without becoming over aroused and making bad choices.

HOW YOU WILL TRAIN THIS

You’ll use the ‘capturing’ method of training.  This means that you’ll wait for the dog to sit, rather than asking the dog to sit and then reward. This exercise is best done in the garden with the dog off lead. You’ll gradually build up the amount of excitement and arousal before waiting for the dog to sit.

PREREQUISITS

  • Automatic Sit – the dog must be sitting as soon as you stand still before you can progress to this exercise.

STEP 1

Criteria

You will mark (‘yesss!’) your dog for sitting for a period as long as the excitement.

  • With your dog in a standing position
  • To add excitement do a star jump
  • Stand still and become as boring as possible
  • Your dog should sit for as long as the period of excitement
  • Mark (‘yesss!’) 
  • Reward
  • Repeat, gradually adding more movement (but not distance)

STEP 2

Criteria

You will mark (‘yesss!’) your dog for sitting for a period as long as the excitement.

  • With your dog in a standing position
  • To add excitement run three steps
  • Stand still and become as boring as possible
  • Your dog should sit for as long as the period of excitement
  • Mark (‘yesss!’) 
  • Reward
  • Repeat, gradually adding more distance

STEP 3

Criteria

You will mark (‘yesss!’) your dog for sitting for a period as long as the excitement.

  • With your dog in a standing position
  • To add excitement jump and run three steps
  • Stand still and become as boring as possible
  • Your dog should sit for as long as the period of excitement
  • Mark (‘yesss!’) 
  • Reward
  • Repeat, gradually adding more movement and distance

HELP

  • This exercise is best started when the dog is calm.
  • If at any time the dog become over aroused, sprinkle some treats on the floor to calm the dog down and stop the exercise, noting to increase the arousal more gradually next time.

HOMEWORK

  • Ask each member of the family to do these exercises with your dog (you can use your dog’s kibble and add treats intermittently).
  • Vary the locations where you do these exercises; different rooms in the house, in the garden, when you’re out for a walk.