The thinking dog


img_0142.jpgI love this sequence of photos. One of the topics that we discussed last weekend as an important component of training was allowing a dog to develop responsibility for their own actions. One of the simple but effective methods taught was called “the long down”. Effectively it is a very simple exercise where the dog is given a sit command and enough slack in their lead to settle into a spot while the owner is sitting on the leash and not interacting with the dog. The exercise should allow the dog 30 minutes in a calm state of mind before concluding.

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We have a new group member, Boris. He is a great 9 month old yellow lab with tons of energy. During our walk today, after 3+ miles, he had a great opportunity to learn “the long down”. This is a modified version where the group is providing non verbal cues about expected behavior. In the first shot we can see how he is looking for any kind of distraction to take him off task. He then resigns himself to the down position. Then in the concluding photo he finally achieves the state of mind we are looking for. His facial expression and body language are fantastic as he achieves a calm state of mind.

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