Wheeeeeee! The blur of moving spaniel complete with manic grin is something to behold.
The sheer joy of living.
Dashing from place to place just in case he might be missing out on something.
But sometimes rushing around can be a little bit wearing to live with. The speedy zooming can mean missing out on quiet moments, or staying safe on a rickety bridge!
The top question at dog sports and activity workshops is always “How do I slow my dog down/how can I keep up with my dog”.
No matter whether it’s a sport like Parkour (jumping, balancing and negotiating obstacles), Rally or an activity like Scentwork.
Super speedy dogs can be exhausting to work and handle, often because they’re not being careful or precise. You are out of breath and forcing your brain to work on over drive just to keep up.
And my answer to that question?
Help your dog learn to keep doing “the thing” persistently – whether that’s staying a position or sniffing for a find.
We have about a billion tactics, training games and tips that would help you.
Today’s top tip comes from the amazing Parkour and Tricks workshop our very own Sian ran at the weekend.
Even though Parkour is described as urban agility, it’s not really about completing a course in the fastest time. In fact to submit your videos for a title, you need to show your dog in each position for at least 5 seconds.
Catching the moment your dog does “the thing” and rewarding is important.
But even more important is the next reward!
The one that helps your dog concentrate on what they are doing, and keep doing it. And the one after that…
You might need to start working on this away from exciting obstacles, take an easy position like a down or just eye contact and work on your dog “keeping doing the thing”.
In Parkour you could work on 2-on (2 front paws on an obstacle) using something that’s too small for anything else, and use repeated fast rewards to help your dog stay in position at first.
So how about this week you work on slower activities with awareness, and make those training moments last!
Have a mindful week
Morag and the collie girls
PS Email us to go on the waiting list for our Monday Parkour classes with Sian (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PPS there are super speedy exercises in Parkour too like Tic-Tacs, it's not all slow and steady!