14. May, 2015

Energy Levels, Focus and Discipline

When training and/or exercising a canine partner we have to match their energy levels and personality. For example if you have a young dog who is outgoing, a low level energy will not keep this dog focused on you or the job in hand. The dog's mind will wander searching for something or someone else that more fullfils its needs. If, when you take your dog out, they find other dogs more interesting than you, then it is likely you are not satisfying their energy level by using reward and play with the right intensity. Also a lack of correct socialising, showing your dog what is required when other dogs are within focus or social space can also contribute to this. If your dog is loosing focus at times come up with more interesting things to do to gain their focus back, such as varying the treats, using a squeaky toy, varying your voice volume, making faster movements and raising your energy levels. Class your dog's energy levels LOW, MEDIUM or HIGH and match this with an activity, exercise or regime which best suits its individual needs. One which develops or improves responses to you.This is a subject which is quite complex and takes a greater understanding of the dog you live with and we will cover this subject in more depth in the forthcoming classes.

Discipline, yours and the dogs is important to the success of any given exercise or activity. When I talk to you about this subject, it can take on two meanings, one which is change of behaviour by way of inflicting correction and the other is by ritual, to maintain the same outcome of an exercise by repitition and reward. For instance when an athlete trains for competion they have a routine which they follow to promote strength and success in their chosen sport. This is a belief which I think is equally important when owning and training a dog, helpful to you and them. So have a plan, makes goals and develop your skills on a daily basis. Making time for training in between classes on regular short sessions, that last five or ten minutes. Even if you think you have mastered the exercise, practice daily and enjoy the relationship you build with your canine companion by using the right energy level, keeping focus and using discipline.