Your final assignment
Like I’ve said, food is not the be-all and end-all of reward based training. You’re probably never going to find the one miracle treat (not even chicken!) that’s better than chasing the deer that just ran across their path, or, for some dogs, hanging out with their pals at the dog park.
We get asked about that dog park situation a lot. You’ve been teaching your dog to come when called, but how do you get your dog to come when called at the dog park when it’s time to go home?
I would never expect a handful of chicken to be better than playing with their dog friends.
But it’s not about that one handful of chicken.
It’s about how the chicken fits into a bigger picture.
Maybe leaving the dog park shouldn’t be a bad thing. Maybe you get in the habit of leaving the dog park and then, instead of getting in the car and going home, you go into the regular park next door and have another adventure there.
And it’s not about the one piece of chicken you’re holding as you call your dog away from the squirrel or the deer or their dog friends. It’s about the hundred previous times you’ve called your dog and rewarded them. It’s about all that reinforcement history culminating in a really strongly conditioned cue.
Your final assignment:
Check out the foundation module in the Practical Leash Manners course. It applies to more than just leash training. Here’s the first lesson.
Happy training! And if you have questions, bring ’em over to the forum.