We grow in life by trying things, setting our sights on a new activity , stretching for new goals, sometimes not making it, then figuring out what happened when we didn’t achieve that goal, and then we try again.
Once we accomplish the goal, we savor the success!
One thing that comes up often here at Aly’s Puppy Bootcamp, is that families don’t seek out new opportunities for dogs to experience that same sense of success and accomplishment.
It is important for your dog to grow in their skills and gain confidence on a continual basis.
One of Aly’s favorite ways to grow confidence in dogs is with the 3D’s – Distance, Duration and Distraction.
These skills can be incorporated into your routine day by day and are meant to build upon the skills and the confidence that your pup already has.
For example, here is a great way to practice Distance.
While your dog is on a sit/stay, slowly back away from your dog 5-7 feet. This is a great skill to add on once your pup is confident in a sit/stay.
As your dog gets stronger and stronger with Distance, you can begin to incorporate Duration into this skill. So, while the pup is in sit/stay and you slowly back away, make him hold the stay for 60 seconds.
As you and your dog succeed as these behavior challenges, add in a Distraction like bouncing a ball or tossing a toy off to the side.
See what we mean. Start with a basic skill and add the 3D’s to it to grow your pups’ skills and confidence.
The key to success is that you add Distance, Duration and Distraction gradually as the dog is able to successfully handle each skill that you add. Also offer rewards for each step because we want the dog to be happy to work with you.
One final tip from Aly Rodges (the doodle whisperer) there is an art to upping the challenge. If you go too fast you will set your dog up for failure, if do you more than he is capable of your will crush your dogs’ willingness to try. If you don’t do enough your pup will be bored.
Stay positive and upbeat and your pup will tell you what they are capable of. If you want to help your dog learn more skills, check out our online trainings.