DogTraining101
Any Breed - Any Age - Any Problem

Level 1 Manual

Level 1 Obedience is for non reactive dogs over 16 weeks of age.  The following manual is a guide to successful running of this course.  Key commands are used to prompt clients what they are supposed be doing during the command.  Activities such as weaving can be incorporated into class if time allows.

 

What is covered in this course?

* Mat Training * Sit * Stand * Drop * Sit Stay * Stand Stay * Drop Stay * Come * Return to Heel

Equipment Required

* 6 Business branded XL Training Mats
* Supply of Halters of assorted sizes
* Vet wrap or Dog Boots
* Training Lead
* Water Dispenser
* Access cards to access the training videos
* Appy Information sheet
* Safety Pack (Spray and Cattle Prod) in side pack
 

Prior to Start of Class Week 1 only

* Send a text to all class clients ensuring they know the start time and location – what they need to bring including their dog and that you look forward to meeting them.  This is to ensure there is no misinterpretation of the automated message/email that goes out to clients when they book.
* There is information collected at the time of booking about each dog – preview prior to the start of class.
* Once the first class has finished if you are a company trainer you will need to enter the dollar amount into our financial system Xero and for any other purchases they make during the course.
* If you are a franchisee ensure all payments have gone through the booking system Vcita so that the client gets a receipt – admin will do the rest.
 
 
 

Class Starts – Week 1

* Do a site check to ensure a safe environment – complete site check form and submit to the office for filing.
* Set up class site ready for clients.
* Greet clients as they arrive and fit dogs as required with Halters – We do not allow any other halters than the ones we use due to safety concerns and damage to neck muscles.
* Once all clients have arrived start class.
* Each command will need to be demonstrated by using your own dog or a clients dog.
 

In depth Description of Week 1 Commands.

 

Mat Training

  1. It’s the most passive way to flip the balance of control back into the owners favor. Essentially, the way dogs end up controlling us is passively, so we are going to do it back to them, in a effective, passive way that they understand.
  2. It allows your dog to self soothe and relax, by themselves, in their own time. They need to learn how to get themselves into a calm, regulated state in order to be able to cope with and release any stress or anxiety. It very useful for over excited dogs who struggle with self-control. We cannot force a dog to relax – so when they are on the mat we won’t tell them to sit, drop or stay. When they are ready, they will do it on their own.
  3. It will teach your dog to become desensitized to whatever it is that triggers them off…whether it be other dogs, cars, people, bikes. Your dog will learn to relax in any environment, under any circumstances.

It will also build the trust your dog has in you and allow your bond to grow.

The 3 most important things when training your dog…You must be:

CALM – never lose your cool or allow your dog to frustrate you.

ASSERTIVE – always back up what you say and be firm with your commands. Never say a command more than once.

CONSISTENT – once you create rules, structure and boundaries, stick with them!

If any of these things wane, your dog will see it as a weakness in your leadership and they will start to test you. A dog will never fully trust a leader who isn’t these 3 things!

If your dog trusts you it will make recall training a lot easier!

You must always use the collar and lead when you do mat training. The lead represents control. Part of what we are trying to achieve.

You will point to the mat and once only you will say – “on the mat”.

Gently lead your dog to the mat, so all 4 paws are on the mat. (When laying down they can have up to the elbows off the mat, head can be off but the body must be on)

Ensure you do this in a calm manner as the mat should always be a positive space.

As you start to layer on some control, your dog may test you and push the boundaries. This can come in many forms. Anything from an increase in an unwanted behavior (jumping, barking whining, destructive behaviors etc. ) to an additional new unwanted behavior – such as urinating in the house. Please remember this does not mean the training isn’t working. It means your dog senses change and is testing your leadership.

If your dog bites the lead, either use a chain lead or spray your lead with some Bitterant.

Remain strong throughout this period. It will end if you remain consistent and keep up the training!

 

Your dog will also test you whilst you are doing the mat training. They may step one paw off, they may pretend to be itchy and roll off the mat, they may sit right at the edge of the mat. Regardless of what your dog does, they must remain on the mat. If they step off, gently pull them back on – DO NOT say anything when you do this. Each time they step off, remain silent and gently pull them back on.

Remember – you have asked them once already to go to the mat. Never repeat a command.

DO NOT say “uh uh” or anything similar when your dog steps off the mat. This is very hard for the human, as we are so verbal. Dogs are nonverbal and they don’t understand English (they can however, learn up to 160 words – by association) so every time you talk to your dog you are giving them praise. We DO NOT want to give them praise when they step off the mat, so silence is golden when taking them back to the mat!

If your dog jumps up on others and you have the lead on, a gentle correction on the collar, enough to pull her down, is all that is required. No verbal, from you or the people she has jumped on. This is very important. If the behavior is persistent, take your dog to the mat, where she will calm down and relax, then she can be freed from the mat.

Remember you can use your mat as a backup for any unwanted behaviour. As long as you are calm when you take your dog to the mat they will only ever see it as a positive place where they relax. As humans we may see it as a naughty corner.

In order for the mat training to be effective, you must increase the time your dog is on the mat from the laying down, relaxed position (hips flipped to the side). It may only be a minute at first, but increase it as you go, walk around the mat, until you can drop the lead and take a few steps away. (In the safety of your home only) .This takes time and patience.

Eventually you will be able to walk away from the mat, increasing the time on the mat and the distance from the mat. At this stage you will be leaving the room for short periods, returning and praising if your dog has stayed on the mat.If they didn’t, take them calmly back to the mat, no verbal and then try the exercise again.

Your dog will eventually be so relaxed on the mat they will fall asleep. If it is a deep sleep, when they wake up, let them walk off as they please as they won’t remember you have put them on there.

When releasing your dog from the mat:

Pick up the lead and say “free” and gently coax your dog off with a pull of the lead. Give them lots of praise. They will soon learn what “free” means.

The biggest mistakes people make when doing mat training:

  1. Not using the lead. You will need this for some time yet. It takes 21 days to create a consistent behavior in a mammal.
  2. Only keeping the dog on the mat for a minute or 3. This is not long enough for the relaxation process to happen.
  3. Only having the mat in one area. Move it around the house, inside, outside, to the park, cafe, outside and at a distance from a dog park…everywhere!
  4. Allowing the dog to creep off the mat. You have to have some rules otherwise it’s a pointless exercise.
  5. Using high pitched voices and getting over excited when praising or freeing your dog from the mat….an over excited human will create an over excited dog!

The more mat training you do and the more consistent you are, the quicker you will see positive change in your dog’s behaviors.

 

Any time is a good time for mat training – watching tv, at a cafe, making dinner, having a coffee, swimming in the pool, gardening etc.

You cannot overdo mat training. Remember if you remain calm when you are taking your dog to the mat, they will only ever see it as a place they go to, to relax.

Lounges and beds

It’s OK to have your dog on the bed but it must be by invitation only. If they are jumping on the lounge or the bed, they are in control, you need to set boundaries. If they jump on the lounge gently push them off without saying anything, if you talk to them you are rewarding them for the behavior, and that’s a behavior we don’t want. If they are really persistent and are testing you, put the lead on and gently lead them to the mat.  Remember if you tell them to get down you are adding a command like sit – you are not actually stopping the behavior.

Every time you are telling your dog to do something, be prepared to back it up.

 

Heel Position

NB: please note that at least 3 mtrs are required between each dog at all times for safety reasons.

  1. You need to be the leader and in control of the Walk not your dog so your dog needs to be at your side not out in front.
  2. Dogs are usually on the left of us – this is an old military tradition – it doesn’t matter as long as you are consistent with your choice. The lead should have your knuckles facing outward so you have more control and your other hand holding the excess lead
  3. Your lead should be loose with no pulling from the dog; if they do, you need to correct this behavior with a flick of the wrist on the lead and return them to heel.
  4. Key command used in class “loose lead left foot forward with the command heel”.
  5. Show the client the lead across your thigh – as you step off and say the word heel this will pull the dog forward and the association between the dog, your leg moving and the word will be made.
  6. Always take off with your left foot as this means motion, the right means stationary.
  7. If you prefer to have your dog on the right side the commands remain the same – left foot means motion, the right means stationary.
  8. Your dog will try to gain back control and throw tests at you, it may be that you dog in putting their paw on your foot and your thinking “aww” he loves me, what they are really doing is testing you to see how much they can push.  This is your personal space remember that. If this happens gently push the dogs foot off yours. If they lean against you that’s also another sign so again gently push them off. If you don’t correct these behaviors, to your dog you failed the test

Sit

  1. Key Command used in class “Lifting the lead up with the right hand pushing down with the left, with command SIT”.
  2. Your dog should be in a sitting position neatly with their shoulder in line with your leg. If your dog gets up gently push their bum down again with no words. Do not repeat the command.  If this is a bit sloppy at first we can tidy it up as we go along. If your dog sits, but is facing another direction they are basically giving you the finger and telling you, “I’ll sit but it’s on my terms”, gently move their bum so it’s in line with you, and repeat if they stand up. This may take a number of times to master but persevere, if you give up your dog wins.
  3. If you tell your dog to sit and they don’t, and you say it again they still don’t do it so you say it again, you have now said it 3 times, after doing this repeatedly your dog will associate the sit command with you saying it sit 3 times. Don’t say it over and over; Say it once and once only. If they don’t comply, push there bum down.
  4. Say sit and give them 1 second to comply, if they don’t you need to gently push their bum down.
  5. 1/2 hr training is equivalent to 1hr walking.  You need to not only wear your dog out physically but mentally as well and incorporating commands during a walk will do this. Dogs like boundaries and the more you train and have your dog under control the happier you and your dog will be.

Give the dog plenty of praise when they have done what has been asked of them.

 

Sit and Stay

Key command in class used for Sit Stay “Firm hand signal in front of the face with the command STAY. Stepping off with the right foot stand (location and distance required)”

* Now you have learnt the sit command you can teach them to stay, and this is done with placing your dog in the sit position and putting a firm hand in front of the dogs face with the command “Stay”. You will then be asked to step to the side of your dog and return, if your dog moves out of position return to the dog and gently push on your dog’s bum to sit and repeat exercise. Do not repeat any of the commands if your dog has not done what you asked them to do. Repeat until your dog has done what you ask, return to their side and give them plenty of praise.

Mix the stay’s gradually with standing behind the dog, in front of the dog – all directions around the dog including circling around your dog.

Remembering that:

  • Left foot is motion

  • Right foot is stationary

Give the dog plenty of praise when they have done what has been asked of them.

 

Below is the associated content from the run sheet for Week 1

Key Phrases – Week 1

❑ Mat Training “Using a hand indication pointing to the mat with the command ON THE MAT”

❑ Heel “Loose Lead left foot forward with the command HEEL”

❑ Sit “Lifting the lead up with the right pushing down with the left with the command SIT”

❑ Stay “Firm hand signal in front of the face with the command STAY. Stepping off with the right foot stand (location and distance required)”

Week 1 – Commands

❑ Mat Training – Demonstrate with a clients or your own dog how to do Mat training – say command once – Keep all 4 paws on mat unless lying down – beware of square dancing by dog and toes off – if dog steps off do not say anything just take back to Mat.

❑ Heel – Movement in obedience is indicated by the left foot – right means stay still. Have the dog next to you – have the lead draped loosely across your thigh – as you step forward you thigh will catch the lead and move the dog forward at the same time say the word heel.

❑ Sit – Lift the lead up with the right lead and tuck the bum under with the left. If the dog stands back up don’t say anything just resit, if the dog lies down lift back into sit.

❑ Stay – Movement in obedience is indicated by the left foot – right means stay still. Start with directly in front, watch for them moving the left foot causing the dog to break. Start with small distance and time and grow over the course. You want to do it in all directions eventually by the end of class circling the dog. If dog breaks DON’T SAY ANYTHING – place back in position and step back out. When stable return and praise.

Week 1 – Class Run

❑ 5 Mins – Introduction to course and training – information about yourself

❑ 5 Mins – Mat Training

❑ 10 Mins – Practice Mat Training

❑ 5 Mins – Heel Command

❑ 5 Mins – Practice Heel Command

❑ 5 Mins – Break for Dogs

❑ 5 Mins – Sit Command

❑ 5 Mins – Practice Sit command

❑ 5 Mins – Sit Stay Command

❑ 5 Mins – Practice Sit Stay Command

❑ 5 Mins – Close down – Final points – Let them know next weeks Commands

 

Class Starts – Week 2

* Do a site check to ensure a safe environment – complete site check form and submit to the office for filing.
* Set up class site ready for clients.
* Greet clients as they arrive and check fit of halters on dogs.
* Once all clients have arrived start class.
* Each command will need to be demonstrated by using your own dog or a clients dog.
 

In depth Description of Week 2 Commands.

 

Stand

Key command used in class

* Shortening the lead in the right hand parallel to the ground, firm hand across the face with the command “STAND”.

  • First key instruction is to ensure clients understand what parallel is.  Actually show them with a lead so that there is a visual indicator.
  • Next show them what a pistol grip is – this is crucial to being able to control the head in the correct position to limit movement during the command.
  • Next demonstrate the hand signal with the command stand and lead position next to the head using the pistol grip from the sitting position.  This is to ensure the correct movement – do this several times.
  • The final step is putting it together from heel.
  • Watch outs – if the dog is an auto sitter – The owner will need to quickly slide the hand down to the join between the hind leg and body to prevent the dog from sitting.
  • If the dog achieves the command but after a few seconds or when the owner stands then goes to sit then heel off quickly.
  • Repetition is the key to success.  For ultra stubborn dogs you can use a two lead method with a lead under the belly.
  • Watch out for the owner lifting the lead up this will cause the dog to sit.

Give the dog plenty of praise when they have done what has been asked of them.

 

Drop

Key command used in class

“Lead in left hand – with a quick coercion to the ground give the command DROP”

  • This is the most submissive position for a dog to be in to a human, hence why we do it in week 2. At this stage you would/should have gained control of your dog, and by now you have gained some trust with them.

There are 3 key ways that we show the class how to do this.  There are more but these are the quickest.  Pick your demo dog wisely to avoid a bite.

  1. By holding onto the side of the dog’s collar with 2-3 fingers, using your hand that is closest to the dog and saying “drop” and gently pulling them down to the ground.  Ensure firm pressure and do not stop unless there is the serious prospect of a bite and change to a sweep.  This allows the dog to make a conscious decision to drop. Never use the right hand and be on the right side you will be too close to the head – the left hand represents a safety barrier and distance.
  2. This is “the sweep”. By holding onto the top of the dog’s collar with 2-3 fingers (palm down), using your hand that is closest to the dog and placing your arm across their back applying gentle pressure if any, on their bum.  This supports the back and gives you more control.  Gently and quickly sweeping the dogs legs forward using your other hand so they go to the ground saying the word “drop”.
  3. By holding onto the side of the dog’s collar with 2-3 fingers, using your hand that is closest to the dog and saying “drop” and gently pulling them down to the ground. At the same time using the other hand rub your hand back and forth from the bridge to the snout quickly and continuously.  The dog will want to look under your hand and cannot do two things at once.  Ensure firm pressure and do not stop unless there is the serious prospect of a bite and change to a sweep.  This allows the dog to make a conscious decision to drop. Never use the right hand and be on the right side you will be too close to the head – the left hand represents a safety barrier and distance.

Give the dog plenty of praise when they have done what has been asked of them.  Don’t do the drop more than a few times.  If the dog is really stubborn then find something the dog really enjoys and it must drop before that every time to embed the behavior.

 

Come

Key command used in class

“Go to the length of lead in front of the dog and call COME.

  • Place your dog in a sit and stay position; walk out to the length of the lead, leading with your right foot, stay there and call “come” and gently pull the lead towards you, When your dog is in front of you place them in a “sit” position.
  • Practice from all different positions.

NB: You place them in a sit position because if you are calling your dog from a distance you don’t want them to run into you, this could cause some serious damage to you!

  • Watch outs with Come – never use an angry or frustrated voice – the dog will sense the change and you will break that trust or confuse him with a different sounding come.
  • Never ever call your dog then discipline them.  That will completely destroy your recall.  The dog has come to you in good faith and you have broken that trust – whatever the dog did it is in the past – all your dog cares about at that point in time is being in front of you – its leader.

 

Below is the associated content from the run sheet for Week 2

 

Key Phrases – Week 2

❑ Stand “Shortening the lead up in the right hand, parallel to the ground, quick hand signal in front of the face with the command STAND”

❑ Drop “Lead in left hand – with a quick coercion to the ground give the command DROP”

❑ Come “Go to the length of lead in front of the dog and call COME.

 

Week 2 – Commands

❑ Stand – Demonstrate with a clients or your own dog how to do Stand– say command once. Technique is everything in this exercise. If they have been previously getting dog to sit automatically when stopped they will get issues. Touching the flank to get them to stand may be required. WATCH for parallel lead!

❑ Drop – In Level 1, Drop is from the Sit position. Safety is everything always use the left hand. Whichever method you use once you begin the drop you must not stop or the dog will learn to protest. If dog breaks DON’T SAY ANYTHING – place back in position. Select which drop would be best for the client based on dog temperament.

❑ Come – Explain why a dog may not come and how to overcome it. Never use angry or frustrated voices.

 

Week 2 – Class Run

❑ 10 Mins – Revision from week before – any issues?

❑ 5 Mins – Stand

❑ 5 Mins – Practice Stand

❑ 5 Mins – Drop

❑ 5 Mins – Practice Drop

❑ 5 Mins – Break for Dogs

❑ 5 Mins – Come

❑ 5 Mins – Practice Come

❑ 10 Mins – Do a walk incorporating all commands

❑ 5 Mins – Close down – Final points – Let them know next weeks Commands

 

Class Starts – Week 3

* Do a site check to ensure a safe environment – complete site check form and submit to the office for filing.
* Set up class site ready for clients.
* Greet clients as they arrive and check fit of halters on dogs.
* Once all clients have arrived start class.
* Each command will need to be demonstrated by using your own dog or a clients dog.
 

In depth Description of Week 3 Commands.

 

Stand Stay

Key command used in class

Stand Stay “Shortening the lead up in the right hand, parallel to the ground, quick hand signal in front of the face with the command STAND” ”Firm hand signal in front of the face with the command STAY. Stepping off with the right foot stand (location and distance required)”

  • This is the same concept as sit and stay. Place your dog in a stand position and place your hand in front of the dog with the command “stand”.
  • Command the dog to stay with a firm hand in front of the face and say “STAY”
  • Repeat the same exercises as sit and stay, moving around your dog/in front/to the side and behind, gradually going out to the length of the lead.

 

Drop Stay

Key command used in class

Drop Stay “Lead in left hand – with a quick coercion to the ground give the command DROP” Firm hand signal in front of the face with the command STAY. Stepping off with the right foot stand (location and distance required)”

  • Command your dogs to “drop” place your hand in front of the dog and say “stay” moving around your dog/in front/to the side and behind, gradually going out to the length of the lead. Maybe staying there for a few seconds.

If they get up return them to the position and keep doing it until they have done what has been asked.  Give the dog plenty of praise when they have done what has been asked of them.

 

Return to Heel

Key command used in class

Return to Heel “Step back with the right foot with the command HEEL. Pass the lead behind your back with the dog and step off with the left foot and continue heeling.”

  • When you are walking your dog you can give them the “free” command, this is when your dog is free to sniff his surroundings a tree maybe.  You as the leader should stay where you have freed them.  No walking forward further.
  • When you are ready to command your dog to heel and return them to your side then –
  • If they are on the left you just need to return your dog to your side and continue walking with the command Heel.
  • If they are on the right you need to get them to the heel position, you don’t want your dog crossing your pathway and tripping you, so in order to get them to your left side, Command Heel – step back on your right foot pull the dog behind you.  Your other foot steps back so you are standing upright.  Continue to guide your dog around the back of you.  Step off as if heeling and your dog will naturally fall into the position required.

Give the dog plenty of praise when they have done what has been asked of them.

 

Graduation

  • Photo time with dogs and owners.
  • Ask permission for photos to be taken and uploaded particularly when children are in photos.
  • Caps, Certificates and Magnets
  • Clients often ask if their dog is ready for level 2; the only criteria is the dog must be able to drop using 1 hand only. Hand signals are incorporated in level 2 so 1 hand needs to be free to give the command.

 

Below is the associated content from the run sheet for Week 3

Key Phrases – Week 3

❑ Stand Stay “Shortening the lead up in the right hand, parallel to the ground, quick hand signal in front of the face with the command STAND” ”Firm hand signal in front of the face with the command STAY. Stepping off with the right foot stand (location and distance required)”

❑ Drop Stay “Lead in left hand – with a quick coercion to the ground give the command DROP” Firm hand signal in front of the face with the command STAY. Stepping off with the right foot stand (location and distance required)”

❑ Return to Heel “Step back with the right foot with the command HEEL. Pass the lead behind your back with the dog and step off with the left foot and continue heeling.”

 

Week 3 – Commands

❑ Stand Stay – Demonstrate with a clients or your own dog how to do Stand Stay – say command once. Technique is everything in this exercise. If they have been previously getting dog to sit automatically when stopped they will get issues. Touching the flank to get them to stand may be required. WATCH for parallel lead!


❑ Drop Stay – Demonstrate with a clients or your own dog how to do Drop Stay– say command once.


❑ Return to Heel – Explain how the dog will learn to automatically go to that position and why it should not cross in front of you so you don’t trip.

 

Week 3 – Class Run


❑ 10 Mins – Revision from week before – any issues?

❑ 5 Mins – Stand Stay

❑ 5 Mins – Practice Stand Stay

❑ 5 Mins – Drop Stay

❑ 5 Mins – Practice Drop Stay

❑ 5 Mins – Break for Dogs

❑ 5 Mins – Return to Heel

❑ 5 Mins – Practice Return to Heel

❑ 5 Mins – Practice all Commands

❑ 10 Mins – Graduation

 

After Course

  • Once class has finished if you are a company trainer then
    • Photos are to be Uploaded to dogtraining101 Facebook page.
    • Names of dogs and location in 1 must be with the photos on the post
    • All stock must be paid for on the 1st week of training.
    • Remember to ask all clients for a review.
  • If you are a Franchise Owner then email the above details to admin and they will upload them Monday morning and ask clients if they would like a copy sooner which you can text to them.
  • Ask for a review also on the dogtraining101 page or on google.