Kathy and Sarah discuss Kathy's top ten ways to improve your dog's training!
Kathy: Welcome to Kathy Santo’s Dog Sense, “Episode Three: My Top 10 Ways To Improve Your Dog's Training Right Now.” I'm your host Kathy Santo, and I'm here to teach you everything I've learned in my over three decades of training dogs, their families, competing in dog sports, writing about dogs, and being a guest on radio and TV shows. I am so glad you joined us today,and I'm also joined by one of my trainers, Sarah, who is currently training dogs in Fort Collins, Colorado. Hey, Sarah!
Sarah: Hey, everyone!
Kathy: So today I'm so excited to talk about the top 10 ways to improve your dog's behavior right now. And I know that you implement all of these ways with your students out there in Colorado as well.
Sarah: Yes, absolutely.
Kathy: And so the first one is...I'm going to let you do it. I'll make a little drum roll.
Sarah: Perfect! So the first one's going to be your “Release Cue.”
Kathy: And maybe people don't know what that is. The release cue is the recess bell. It tells your dog when they're done. And I see, and I know you do as well, so many people like ask their dog to do something. For example, sit, and the dog sits and they're, like, “Good dog!” And the dog just walks away like that.
Sarah: Yeah. Exactly.
Kathy: That can't happen. You have to tell the dog when I start and then you have to tell the dog when it's over. Alright, what's number two?
Sarah: Another thing just from the release cue is also to make sure that you're consistent with what words you're using when releasing your dog, and that goes across the board with the whole family as well. You got to pick one word and that's your release cue.
Kathy: Yeah, because it can't be, “Okay!” And the other one's, like, “You're done dude.” And then the other one is, “Break!” Like, it can’t. If you have people in your life training your dog with you, you need to have a meeting, you need to post something on the fridge and it says, “These are the words we're using.” Stop confusing your puppies and dogs by using every word in the dictionary instead of just one consistent word.
Sarah: Yup! Alright, so next up we have “Working In Different Environments.”
Kathy: Yes, because just because your dog can sit when you're in the kitchen facing north, holding a cheese stick does not mean they're going to sit outside. And yet, we hear this all the time, people are, like, “Ah! There was a squirrel and it was running in the yard and I told him to sit and he didn't and he knows better and he's just blowing me off!” No, your dog is reflection of you as a trainer and that's not to make you feel guilty or start heavily drinking. It's just to explain to you that your dog only knows what you've taught them.
Kathy: So if you were teaching this in a quiet environment, there's no transfer initially. Dogs don’t generalize like you want them to, or like people do. You can't sit them down on a rock and say, “Dude, look. Whenever I say sit, no matter what else is going on, you have to do it right.” I mean, like, I wish I could. We're working on that. We’re working on that.
Sarah: You're working on an app for that right?
Kathy: I am! There's going to be an app for that, but for right now, you got to dig in and do old fashion work. You've got to put the dog in multiple situations and teach them that the sit in the kitchen means the same thing as I sit in the yard with the squirrel and beyond.
Sarah: Exactly. So one way to get that is to then, so the next thing we have, is leverage what they want into training.
Kathy: Ooh, you do that one. This reminds me of episode two when we talked about “No Bowl Month”. Remember that?
Sarah: Yes. Okay.
Kathy: I think we just lost...
Sarah: I was distracted by on