Welcome to the homework page! Here you will find links to all the homework for the classes you are enrolled in. It is important to note that the homework may not always sync up perfectly with what you have done in class. Sometimes instructors may spend more time on one concept and wait to start another until the next week but you will get to all of the behaviors listed in the homework during class! Try not to work ahead of where your instructor left off. Instead, go back and work more on building strong behaviors from your prior classes before trying to jump to a week that we haven’t yet completed in class.
Don’t forget to get the whole family involved! Your dog will be far more successful at mastering new concepts if everyone in the home is familiar with the training and being consistent with it. Dogs don’t generalize well and so the more people that teach a given behavior, the more the dog will understand that is what is expected from EVERYONE. For now, every member of the family should be packing their treats and treat pouches when they go out with the dog and work on all the behaviors you’ve learned so far! Remember, you won’t need to carry treats forever, but you will need to build a nice reinforcement history for your dog by giving lots of rewards now while they are still learning. Don’t be stingy! Reward what you like and you will get more of it!
In the same way we need your dog to generalize a behavior to different people, you must take all of the behaviors from the classroom back home to your living room, kitchen, yard and out and about around town or at the park before your dog will truly understand that those things are important regardless of the location. Start off by practicing in a quiet setting first using low value food like your dog’s kibble and then practice in a slightly more distracting environment like out front of your home or out in the backyard using medium level food. Then, as long as your dog was successful, take the behavior on road using high value food to places like the park or outside a busy shopping center. You want your dog to learn the behavior not only in the classroom but in your home, yard and the rest of the world as well! If you don’t practice the behavior other places, your dog will easily be confused into thinking those behaviors only exist inside the home and can lead to frustration when you take your dog other places and they suddenly seem to “forget” all the things you know they can do! They didn’t forget! They simply haven’t generalized the behavior to other environments yet. It is your job to teach them a “sit” means put your butt on the ground EVERYWHERE we go. A skill is not considered mastered until you can do it in any environment and in all circumstances.
Lastly, incorporate real life rewards into your training. In the classroom you might have your dog sit to earn at treat. At home, have them sit for their meals, before you leash them up for a walk, before you throw their ball, etc. This is how we will eventually wean them off of treats for every behavior and it really is never too soon to start. We want them to learn that doing a behavior you ask for gets them the opportunity to do something they want to do. Think of things like “sit” and “down” as ways for your dog to say “please” when they want something from you.