Kimberly Buchanan

Carolyn – thank you for reminding me, yes, it’s ok to use one of the videos of Cooper in this course since it is a’la carte and your choice of videos.

So, let’s look at this video of Scout;

It really does go to show how important your start routine has become! Scout was incredibly distracted until about (:46) when she began to sniff the adjacent table/bench area. Because of her distractability, I like that you went in and paid fast at (:58). She was clearly turning her head, trying to get to source under the bench and expected payment, so that part was nice! 🙂

Obviously, in the beginning you could have stopped her after your flower planter distraction and gotten her refocused to begin the search but you admit you were a bit discombobulated so forgot your start routine. It happens. Just remember you can restart your dog ANYWHERE! When you saw that she started tracking, this is where you could have taken her aside, ideally down-wind, gotten her focused and asked her to search. I’ve done it in trial and it’s helped immensely. You can use that to keep your dog on task when something else is interesting or if s/he’s in a frenzy chasing odor or…. Obviously a re-start takes time. But if you take the 10 seconds to do that you can potentially save the 25 seconds of not really working. Even just a light touch to your dog might be enough to get them refocused.

The other option is to do just what you did, let her get this other “thing” out of her system and let her decide when to work. The problem with that is it lets the dog choose and that isn’t really helpful when they’re playing “our” game. In the dog’s world, in the real world it is fine. And it will help *some* dogs who NEED that time to acclimate. I think with Scout, having seen her before, it will be more helpful to teach her to focus her energies from the beginning.

Thanks for sharing this video – a really good example of what to do when your dog gets distracted! What do you think?

Kimberly Buchanan
Joyride K9 Dog Training