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  • Liz MacHaffie

Are You Ready?

Updated: May 7

You can use the “Are you ready?” routine to get your dog in training mode! (And to ask him if he is ready to train!)




Step 1: Free Cookies!

  • Take 5 treats.

  • Offer your dog the treats, one at a time.

  • If he can’t eat the treats for free, he’s too distracted to listen. Wait it out or move somewhere less exciting/stressful.

  • If he eats them readily, he’s ready to learn!

Step 2: If You Like It, Put a Treat on It​

  • Play this next, rewarding eye contact and settling behaviors. Mark "yes" for what you like and deliver a treat.

  • Don't ask your dog to do anything yet.

  • Once he is offering attention frequently, he’s ready to train!

  • If he can't focus, move further away from the exciting things or try some more motivating treats.

Step 3: Train!

  • You can start giving your dog cues and asking him to do things. (Or release him to go greet the person/dog you wanted him to say hi to.)

  • If he is having a hard time listening to your verbal cue, use your hand signal as a helpful reminder.

  • Whenever your dog is slowing in success, you can go back to “If You Like It…”, move somewhere less distracting, or end the session if you think he's burnt out. Better to end early when your dog is having fun than when he's sick of it!

Check out the troubleshooting video for more tips!


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