If your dog just put a moldy hamburger in his mouth while walking for an unsupervised moment, what would you like him to be able to do? “Cowardly !” When your dog has poked a dangerous object on the coffee table, what do you wish you could ask him? “Coward” When your dog has stolen a toy from the children, how do you get it back? “Cowardly” When your dog has “borrowed” a delicious rib steak off the barbecue, what can save you hundreds of dollars? The “loose” order is indispensable in your arsenal. But how do you teach it reliably? You will learn that in this article today.
I often met her. The dog can grab something and then it starts running because otherwise it will be taken away. If you go near it, it will start to growl because the item is so valuable to it OR it will quickly swallow it so you can’t reach it. But sometimes it’s a sharp pencil, a satchel, a sock, or something poisonous. This can therefore lead to very dangerous situations where emergency veterinary assistance is needed. On the other hand, there are also dogs running around with valuables because that’s the only reliable way to get attention (hello remote control). “Perhaps my hooman will play a nice hunting game with me!” When it comes to things that can’t be broken or things that are dangerous to the dog, having a good “Coward” in his arsenal is absolutely essential.
The name of the game is trading. I prefer to teach this in games because then you can easily maintain motivation and rhythm. Is your dog extremely focused on certain toys? Then find something he is less motivated to do. You choose two identical toys that your dog likes to chase. The extractor is ideal for this.
- Throw toy A
- If your dog comes back with this toy, have Toy B in view, ready to throw
- Wait for the dog to knock Toy A out of its mouth
- Immediately say “good boy” and throw toy B (preferably before toy A hits the ground)
- Repeat some more
- Associations are only made through repetition, so…. say again !
Does your dog, 8-9 times out of 10, drop the toy quickly and willingly while waiting for the next one? Only then can you proceed to step 2
If your dog reliably lets go of the toy when you show him the other, only then do you add the “let go” command. You say “let go” just before your dog lets go of the toy. Because you practiced this over and over again in step 1, you have already developed a sort of 6th sense for it. So you know very well when he’s going to release it. Some dogs are very energy efficient and break free before they are with you, hoping they can save a few yards that way. The other dogs only let go when they are with you and appear the other toy. There are also dogs that have a hard time letting go of the toy. They will take a little longer at first. You will notice that he begins to loosen his grip and a series of small bites sometimes ensue. The duel is then very visible. He wants to move on to the next thing and has to let go of that toy, but his jaws want to cling to it. Be patient and reward him immediately by tossing him the next toy when he finally lets go. It will become easier and easier for your dog. Again, repetition is key!
Don’t keep toy B in the throwing position anymore, just have it within sight. Ask for the “go”. When your dog loses Toy A, say “good boy” and toss Toy B back. Don’t forget your timing!
Don’t show Toy B anymore. The rest stays the same.
Say “good” when he releases and show toy B. Don’t throw toy B but take toy A and throw it away.
Now you can exercise with just one toy!
When you have completed the first 6 steps, you apply the word “loose” in other situations and with other toys. If he’s playing with a ball/pull rope/plastic bottle/… say “let go”. Reward each time he does with a treat or game.
In step 8, it’s important to generalize the word “Coward” outside of the context of the game. So you now also use it with a chew bone, a chew rag, and in situations where it’s holding something that is not a toy (handkerchief, slipper, children’s toys,…) Reward every time! Even if he knows the command well, you need to reward him every time to keep the command reliable. Remark : smart dogs may discover that they can get food or attention by stealing items and then offering them to you to solve. However, you can often clearly recognize in their behavior that they are doing it with that intention. It is important not to reinforce this situation. It also means that, until this stage, you do not use the word “coward” in difficult situations, because the probability of him doing so is too low. By doing this you reduce the value of the order.
What if he doesn’t?
There are many reasons not to post. Often it has to do with motivation or the desire to go too fast. If you get stuck, take a step back. Does your dog absolutely not want to let go of the toy? Then find a toy for which he is less motivated. Dogs often have strong preferences and if you prefer by their favorite toy, you are making it very difficult. This toy is something you build towards.
Now you know how to do it. So do it! Implementation is how your dog will learn. Use #kwispeltherapielosblog on facebook or instagram to show me your progress and or tag my page. You already have a cheerleader