• Kristen Renaud

Day 2 - 30 Days of Dr. Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol

January 30, Day 2

Day two went really well. As always, I am impressed by Kirby's ability to problem solve. Throughout the day she randomly went to the mat several times and glanced at me, checking in to see if it would be rewarded. And it was! Rewarding behavior even when you did not ask for something specifically, often referred to as capturing, is a great way to train your dog.

Kirby also excelled at the foundational skills again today. However, several of the tasks today included clapping. The noise challenged Kirby. When calling Kirby to come back to me from something very enticing, I often get low to ground, scoot back, and clap my hands. So when I clapped at Kirby she immediately associated it with recall. She left the mat and followed me.

What did I do when Kirby faltered and did not do as I had expected?

Nothing. I did not react. I did not say bad, scold, or yell at her. My body language did not intimidate her back into her spot. I simply did not click, as we were using a clicker during this exercise, to mark her behavior as desired. I brought Kirby back to the mat and started at that exact step again. It took two more tries and then I was able to take steps back and clap my hands without Kirby following me off the mat.

Excited to see what challenges day three brings.

Kirby naps after a great training session.

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