Orientation training exercises while going for a walk

Orientation training at the dog school teaches your dog and you to look each other better. A few exercises, however, you can sprinkle on the go while walking with your darling again and again.

If your dog prefers to follow his own nose while out and about, then the following orientation training exercises will help you. Your four-legged friend learns to follow you, which is indispensable at the latest in situations that are dangerous or confusing.

Orientation training: reward eye contact

One of the most important exercises in orientation training is eye contact. Your dog should not simply run while walking, but reassure yourself in between times again and again that you agree with what he does. To do this, reward your four-legged friend every time he turns to face you.

You can either do this with a treat or even better with a marker word or clicker. When he looks at you, click or name the marker word or give him a treat. In this way you promote in the sense of positive reinforcement, that your dog seeks your look and awaits your approval.

Exercises while walking with hiding

Your dog only pays attention to you when you call him, otherwise he does what he wants. Then play hide-and-seek with him when going for a walk. For safety's sake, these orientation training exercises are better if you have a second person with you. So you do not have to worry about your four-legged friend running away as soon as you hide. In the beginning, ideally, keep it as simple as possible. For example, stand behind a tree trunk while your dog is watching, and so that he can see you.

Your attendant will ask your woofer to look for you. As soon as your four-legged friend comes to you, praise and reward him joyfully. Gradually, you can increase the level of difficulty by hiding better and farther away. If that works well, try the game without your dog seeing where you're going. For example, take a moment when going for a walk, where your four-legged friend with the thoughts seems to be somewhere else and hide. Just wait, without calling or signaling, until he finds you and reward him. If this is too risky for you, ask an escort to keep an eye on your fur nose.

Surprising changes of direction during the walk practice

For the exercises with a change of direction, you should try to find a suitable area to go for a walk, where not so many walkers run around and there are no danger spots like busy roads or similar in the vicinity. It is also good if the path does not go straight, but has different branches. Your dog walks a bit ahead and you turn without warning or go in the opposite direction - but always keep an eye on your four-legged friend or ask an escort to take care of him during the exercises, perhaps to keep him on a long towing leash.

If he continues happily away from you without noticing your absence, stop and wait. If he turns around and seeks your eye contact, you can move on carefully, very slowly, so that your dog can catch up with you again. Praise him and be happy when he is with you, and then walk on normally. Only if he does not notice the change of direction at all, you should call him. If your dog has not yet learned to walk without a leash, you can practice the direction changes with leash. This should not be too short, at least two meters long. As soon as your four-legged friend begins to ignore you, briefly give his name and turn in a different direction. Then you go a little way - but not so far that the leash starts to stretch - and wait. If your dog looks over at you or even comes to you, he gets a reward.

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