Dog Training Mock Trials Ensure a Confident Happy Dog
Here in hot and steamy South Florida dog training, Miami residents are constantly reminded of Mother Nature in all of her splendor and awe – hurricane season. But how many people actually prepare beyond a few bottles of extra water and batteries? There are so many instances when a mock run exercise would benefit your dog and your bond. Fireworks and thunder storms are other areas where practicing drills before the actual event will benefit your pet greatly. These mock trials are opportunities to make dog training fun, to bond with the family and to create an opportunity for your pup to make positive associations between traveling in his dog crate, the car, train, bus or plane.
It is a wonderful idea to mimic, to some extent, the sounds and environment of an actual natural disaster or other scary stimuli. Successful, systematic desensitization entails slow, gradual progression. If it is boring, and seems like it is taking a while, you are probably doing it right! No, I am not recommending you destroy your home trying to recreate a natural disaster. Technology has afforded us many innovations that we can utilize to replicate just about any environment. You can buy and/or download CDs/audio files of a multitude of emulations such as: wind, thunder, fireworks, loud noises, waves, urban noises, and just about any other environment replication you can think of. You may not be able to replicate the change in barometric pressure but you can help your dog work through noise, crate fears, travel, novel experiences and jitters without the fear, stress and urgency that a real emergency would command. This preparation ameliorates the fear during the actual event. Making the training fun and non-stressful will help your dog immensely in the event of an actual emergency. Perhaps most importantly, these new situations and stimuli will no longer be novel and unfamiliar, and if paired positively, will elicit a very positive and healthy response from your pup. These mock trials will also help your dog immensely overall in their vast life experiences such as: going to the vet, traveling, moving homes, or just wanting to take your pet with you in the car to enrich their experiences.
Practice, Practice, Practice
This is a fun time for you and your pet. Be creative in devising your plan and thinking about the stimuli that make your precious pup less than confident. Remember the adage, “You don’t fix a leaky roof when it is pouring rain.” Pick a sunny, calm day to practice and train with your dog. Doing these mock trials a couple times a week, and than monthly, will have your dog looking forward, or at least not dreading the next natural disaster or previously scary stimuli!
The biggest rewards go to those taking the initiative.