Having a houseful of dogs makes training interesting. I do train my dogs individually, but I also love training in a group.
Here I am working on self control. As you can see Cowboy is cheating a bit! The idea is for each dog to stay on his or her individual mat. When we started out, it was a hodge-podge of dog bodies hovering around my feet. Except for Barbie, as she’s done this before. (she’s 3rd from the left)
While the dogs are milling about my feet, because I have FOOD, I say the dogs name who happens to be on the mat and then give that dog alone – a treat. This session took about 5 minutes before I got the behavior you see below.
Once we get this far and each dogs stays on their mat, I can rotate through saying “Cowboy” – Treat, “Kevin” – treat, “Greta” – treat, etc. It is so fun to see the dogs inhibit themselves and wait for their turn. I also like to use small boxes or foam steps for the dogs to sit on. I work toward having the dogs stay on their mat or box, then I call one dog off and train that dog. If the other dogs stay on their mat, they get a treat each time I click/treat the dog in active training. This really teaches the dog self control. So fun!