Interesting smells, dropped food crumbs, open treat containers, and toys — these can all be very challenging for our dog to ignore.
We can try to block our dog’s access to these items, or we can use a cue to call our dog back to work, but wouldn’t it be better if our dog just continued to work in the presence of open treat containers, dropped food, interesting smells, and toys on the ground?
In this session we outline a systematic approach that will have your dog heeling past an open treat container or favorite toy in no time.
The key to success is helping our dog to make a choice to ignore these items. When our dog DECIDES to ignore something, the outcome is very different to when we ASK them to ignore something. This is because choosing to ignore an item is empowering and allows their full mental focus to be shifted elsewhere, whereas being asked to ignore something may result in our dog’s visual focus returning to us and the task, but there may still be conflicting emotions and split focus/attention within the processing in the brain.
In this session we outline the steps needed to have our dog choose to ignore interesting smells, food, and toys whilst working.
Working spots: There are no pre-requisite skills for working participants, but having an established loose leash walking or heeling behavior will be beneficial.
NOTE: The contents of this session is targeted towards dogs that compete (in-person or virtual) and/or dogs that participate in training sessions/classes. This is not a protocol aimed at teaching dogs to ignore dropped food whilst out on a sniffy walks or when on “free time” in their yard at home.