LESSON EIGHT. GO.
In the previous lesson we learned Here – in other words, to come when called. So it’s only natural to follow up with GO.
GO is used when you want your dog to go to bed or into his crate. You can add words after go – like blanket, mat, wherever you want your dog to go.
Begin with good treats.
- Put your dog’s bed, mat, or towel on the floor.
- Tell your dog to sit nearby.
- Toss a treat on to the mat. SAY NOTHING AT THIS POINT.
- When your dog steps on the bed or mat (one paw is all that you ask) say “Good Boy” and toss another treat to get him to leave the mat.
- Do this 3 times successfully
- Now, while your dog is near his bed or mat, simply point at it. SAY NOTHING.
- You want your dog to step on the bed or mat. Again, one paw is all that you ask.
- When he does, toss a treat on to the mat and say “Good Boy”.
- When he has done this successfully 3 times, you can move on.
- If the light bulb hasn’t gone on, go back to the first exercise and practice it again.
- When your dog has perfected going on to the mat when you point at, DO NOT toss a treat. Hold off for a few seconds. (You’ll probably get a puzzled look.)
- Wait patiently until he offers you another behavior – a Sit or a Down.
- When he sits or lays down (you want him to figure this out for himself, although you could remind him with the verbal cue) place a treat between his front paws.
- Again, do this 3 times successfully.
Adding the word.
- Now you’re ready to say, “Go to bed.” Or “Go to place.” Or whatever phrase you choose.
- When your dog goes to his bed, reward him generously with multiple treats, one at a time between his front paws. You want him to think that his bed, mat, or towel the most wonderful place in the world.
Your dog can learn multiple words for bed. Try them in various places or situations. If you’re leaving, tell him “Go to crate”.
If company is coming, say “Go to place”.
If you’re meeting a friend at Starbucks, bring a towel and teach him “Go to towel”.
Always remember the treats and deliver them between his front paws.
I hope these lessons helped you and gave your family something to do while isolated at home.
When life gets back to normal, you might consider registering your dog in a dog training class. There are many on line. Or if you’re near Madison, New Jersey, look into St. Hubert’s training center (www.sthuberts.org). Who knows? Maybe I’ll see you in class.