Chai’s distraction recall training – round #1.1 (of many!) Today: level 1 in an easy environment!

Since the person writing this post is future C, I can tell you: this is the start of a very long strategy game between puppy Chai and me!

In this first round of distraction recalls, I planned on using my distraction protocol (the way I teach it in Calling All Dogs1 at FDSA). We’d work our way through it – should be a breeze! – and move on to more interesting training projects! (Future C laughs out loud. Oh, past C! You are too cute when you underestimate The Border Collie!)

3 distractions:

  1. Empty plate (easy)
  2. Crumpled-up bag that used to have food in it (intermediate)
  3. Kibble (difficult)

3 locations:

  1. Living room (easy)
  2. Roof (intermediate)
  3. Park (difficult)

3 levels of distraction protection:

  1. Long line
  2. Off leash, distraction behind barrier (helpers and fences)
  3. Off leash, no distraction

I have a distraction training tracker I ask my students to fill in because I know how easy it is to accidentally skip steps. I filled it in for Chai as well. This is what it looked like. The mistake I made was that I didn’t print it … so I soon stopped looking at it and eventually went rogue. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Like the good protocol-following dog trainer I am, I started with my empty plate in my living room and with my puppy on her long line:

June 22, 2023

After successful completion of the easy distraction, we moved on to intermediate:

Seeing how well this had gone, we took a break and then upped the ante: our most difficult distraction in location #1 on a long line!

What a superstar! We got to check off the first three boxes on the distraction tracker! (Or we would get to check them off, physically, if we had printed the tracker. Since I don’t own a printer, printing stuff involves exporting my Google doc to a PDF, transferring the PDF to a USB stick, walking to a print shop that may or may not be open … You get the picture. It’s easy to start out with good intentions and not follow through when printing is more than just clicking a button!) But hey – I shouldn’t be making excuses for myself. Truth be told, I thought I had taught and used this protocol SO many times that I knew it by heart anyways. Who needs a print-out! Not past C! (Future C cracks up. Oh, dear past C! You’re in for a surprise!)

  1. Which happens to be running this term in case you want to hop in! I’m giving away a free Bronze spot on Facebook – go grab it! ↩︎

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