Tuesday, January 29, 2013

City Dog: Using Dog Training in Everyday City Life

Sometimes our pooches think "What Happens in Obedience Class Stays in Obedience Class".
But really, we work to reinforce the skills in our every day lives so the pooches can understand there is a relevance beyond the classroom.
Since we've been doing this, we've noticed how something as simple as "sit" has so many practical applications in everyday life:

Looking Both Ways Before Crossing the Street
We trained our pooches to automatically stop at curbs (they taught themselves to look both ways!).
There are just way too many cars that run stop signs so we always practice stopping, just in case. I've also heard if your dog ever gets loose, if they are accustomed to stopping at curbs, they won't go running into the street. Has anyone experienced this?

Buying Food at Farmer's Markets 
Farmer's Markets can be insanely crazy with so many people, kids and other dogs. I was once walking through a market where a girl was holding a large dog and picking out flowers. The dog decided to bark and lunge at us, and the unsuspecting girl was pulled forward. She fell and rolled (twice!) just like a cartoon. Especially seeing that, I always put the pooches in a sit-stay when I'm at the market so I can concentrate on choosing tomatoes and paying with farmers without being worried about being pulled and flying forward. Like a cartoon.

"Sit" While I Clean up Your Dog Poo
We always put both of the dogs in sit stays when we're picking up their poo. Sometimes the clean-up requires a lot of concentration, and a turned back, giving a pup at the end of the leash a chance to eat something without me noticing or even try to jump after a feral cat, squirrel, or jogger. We even have other people try to approach us with their dogs when I'm picking up poo. So to avoid the dogs suddenly jerking me while I'm holding poo in a bag (I think that would be a bad cartoon!) we taught them to stay in sit-stays where they are not allowed to move.

Modeling For Photo Opps
Ok, maybe it's not necessary but we see so many amazing things in the city that we just have to pose our dogs in front of. We have done this so much, people who are watching ask us how we taught our pups to 'model on command'.

A Seat at the Street Fest
We love hanging out on the curbs at street fests. Mr. B took 'sitting' to a new level and he taught himself to sit on the curb just like a human.

So what did we leave out? What are some other ways you reinforce "sit" and "sit-stays" in your everyday lives?

Using 'parlor tricks' on the streets
Getting ready for Spring Training!
Preparing for Farmer's Markets


Hannah@Eriesistibull said...

We do "sits" at corners too! We've also found it particularly helpful with Edi to control his excitement (although "down" works a little better for that).

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

Great post! I've found that with Zoe recovering from surgery, the obedience skills we've learned have become more important than ever. Because she cannot run (and wants to!) the best way that we've been able to slow her down is through using the "watch me" command. This -- along with "heel" -- has also come in handy for her rehab exercise, which consists of walking in a series of figure eights!

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

Oh! And "touch!" Being able to guide her through the figure eight with my hands has been useful too. :)

Anonymous said...

We use sit or sit-stay for feeding time, heading outside, and when a car passes, even if we're on the sidewalk. Enough cars go by that they need to know dogs shouldn't be on the street when they see a car - or especially the bus when it flies around a curve! The boys are excitable enough on walks lately that they are being very slow to make the association, but it has worked for my dad with Nellie and they don't have many cars where they are.

Anonymous said...

The photo of them modeling (perhaps vouge-ing) is AWESOME! This post is a reminder that I need to get crazy Jake into a class, STAT!

Debra@Peaceabull said...

For some reason, Ray hates sitting before crossing. I have to keep working on that because I let our training slide way to far over the holidays.

Luckily I tried his "really reliable" recall...danger...the other day and he still came running.

Two French Bulldogs said...

You guys sure are smarty pants. We try to sit at all curbs and are very good for the pawparrazzi. We have a feeling you listen much better than we do
Have a fun day
Benny & Lily

Anonymous said...

The big one for us is stopping at corners... we're working on sitting but at least stopping is good enough for me right now.

My Two Pitties said...

Good points! Since Kaya & Norman are almost always off leash(where it is allowed of course) I inevitably have to use the bathroom almost every time. I put them in a down stay to wait for me and now in all our regular places they automatically do it when we approach the bathroom. I love it when I can overhear dogs running, barking, playing around them, kids, people talking to them, etc. and I come out, they are still planted on the ground:)

We are working on heel, but it is still pretty sloppy. I can see a huge advantage to it though out in public.

Unknown said...

Dog trainers will point out that this cute issue will not be so cute in 6 months if it is not trained out, they can also give insight into what is a molehill or just part of puppyhood that will be outgrown so a dog is not abused.

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Unknown said...

My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more!
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