LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Working from home means the convenience of conference calls from the comfort of your couch, but is also might mean more distractions.
People with animals are having to get accustomed to barking, begging and bathroom breaks, but WHAS11 has some tricks to help the pups cooperate, so that we can concentrate.
“The two biggest things that we teach dogs is for impulse and control: how to handle distractions and not rushing the door,” explained Rich Hardin, the owner of Double H Canine Training Academy.
Hardin has trained dogs for 24 years, and hopes a few simple lessons can help create some harmony in the home.
TRICK 1: ‘PLACE’
Workers from home should consider ‘place,’ one of the most basic tricks, when looking for peace and quiet. Any dog bed will work as a ‘place,’ where a pet should consider relaxing.
While on a leash, people can use treats or toys at first, according to Hardin, to lure their dog to the place. Once in position, dogs can be rewarded with a treat.
“We're going to ask her to just hold that behavior for a few seconds,” Hardin demonstrates with Pippi the Poodle. “We're going to release her, then we're going to come right back around.”
Hardin suggests doing this five to ten minutes at a time, three or four times a day.
“This is just one way we found to be successful to teach your dogs to hold behavior for longs periods of time.”
TRICK 2: ‘WAIT’
“My dog really wants to go outside, but I'm going to be the barrier to keep my dog from going outside until they do what I want them to do,” Hardin explains.
Hardin used Doug the Doodle to demonstrate while walking up to the door.
“We ask Doug to wait. Then we open the door. Doug should hold his position. And we ‘free,’ his release word. We go right through the door.”
Owners can start with closet or garage doors, for example, before leading their dogs outside. It’s supposed to calm dogs down before they pull you out the door on their leash.
“We start at the threshold teaching the dog to be calm, when we enter the stimulus, things will be a little better for us.”
Hardin suggests 10 minutes at a time, four times a day.
TRICK 3: ‘TARGETING’
Michael Davis, owner of TLC K-9 leads the way on this trick.
It’s an opportunity to get the whole family involved, according to Davis, starting with a craft project: creating the target.
A small circle, the size of your child’s first will work. It should have three neutral colors with the darkest in the middle.
“We want the muzzle and the nose to touch the center object, the target itself.”
Davis puts the target above a light switch as his dog, Oakley jumps to hit it, ultimately shutting off the light.
“By utilizing this and by taping it onto anything, we can teach a dog to retrieve, and or to turn something on, or to bring us something.”
Davis says this one takes time and consistency, just like the others. He recommends getting your pet to touch the target 30 times in a row, at least, for two weeks.
Double H Canine is still offering classes online during the quarantine. For more information, click here.