Teach Your Dog To Go To Bed
Your Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to: To teach your dog to go to a designated place such as his BED, towel, pillow, blanket, crate or even your jacket and to remain there until released.
Place your dog’s BED or blanket on the floor. Shape him onto it. (Give the command or cue, then pay for small movements onto or around the bed. You may start by rewarding the dog for looking at the BED, then stepping towards it, then touching it, then standing on it, etc.) ALL movements, even those you think are accidental need to count. You may toss the treat a little away to give the dog the chance to move and repeat the shaping process.
As your dog “gets it”, begin expecting a little more before you’ll reward or praise. This may be body movement if you were only getting looks previously or waiting until the dog touches the BED. Work up to getting all 4 paws on the BED.
Remember, you are praising for progress in the right direction. Don’t get stuck praising or rewarding for the same behavior for too long, or it will be harder for you and your dog to move on.
Keep things moving…
Move your body to different areas surrounding the BED, and turn sideways at different angles as you work. Your dog should not care where you are or what direction you are standing.
Move the BED to another area and quickly go through the above steps.
Once your dog readily goes to the BED and stands with all 4 paws on it, begin paying “Slot Machine” style. Praise, then call your dog to you on the times you do not click and pay.
Add the DOWN/STAY. Since your dog already knows DOWN and STAY or WAIT and you have that on cue, add the DOWN/STAY when the dog is offering you behavior of standing on the BED reliably.
Remember to release your dog with “ALL DONE.”
Time to increase…
Increase distance: gradually increase the distance your dog travels to the BED.
Increase duration: gradually increase how long your dog stays on the BED. Mix it up so the time is unpredictable.
Add the cue. (“BED”, “place”, whatever you want it to be.) When your dog is reliable going to the BED and lying DOWN (your dog is doing it the way you want) then add a verbal or hand signal. Remember, once you name that behavior, that is the behavior you have.
“Remember, if you do not make the conscious choice to be the Trainer…you are by default, the Trainee.”
As a dog trainer, I believe that the most effective method of dog training revolves around teaching your dog what you want them to do, how to behave, how to act in their environment, and what appropriate behaviors are, under given circumstances and situations.
If you’re having a difficult time training your dog, don’t have the time to train him properly, or you would like to learn along with your pup.
Group classes are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 but we are doing private lessons and will reopen group classes as soon as we can.
Contact me or call me at 206-799-0521