Involve The Whole Family In Training
When working with a family and their dog, the children are always excited to help mom and dad train their dog. Parents often push the kids to the side and get frustrated when they keep interrupting. Instead of continually being interrupted, you can incorporate the children in the training. Here are three ways to incorporate your client’s children in training.
1. Recall Games
Children love high energy games, whether they are running or the dogs are. Recall games are a great way to incorporate the client’s children because it can get the dog running and wear them out. Have the children stand across the living room and practice calling the dog’s name once and treat when the dog arrives. They’ll think it’s amazing when the dog listens. Eventually they can play hide and seek and have the dog find them throughout the house. This is also a great bonding game for the dog and children and turns their children into rewards for the dog.
2. Treat Deliverer
This idea would be geared toward the better listener in the family. An example would be working on crate training. If mom or dad has the clicker, just let the child know that whenever they hear a click, they are to give a treat to the dog. When the dog enters the crate and mom or dad click, the child can then deliver a treat to the dog or drop it in the crate.
3. Distraction Training
Children are a big distraction to dogs, and their movements can also be highly alarming to them. You can use their quick movements to proof their dog’s current behaviors or desensitize a worried dog to the child. In the beginning, have the child move slowly and then work up to quicker movements.
Children love to feel like they are being useful. With some simple tweaks to training, children can certainly be incorporated. Once children reach a certain age and maturity, they could even take over training. Training is a great way to bond with their dog, and a pleasant, respectful relationship between children and their dog is important in a family. The next time you have an interruptive child at your training session, don’t allow the parent to get flustered, suggest they help instead.
What are some other ways you, as a trainer, can incorporate children throughout the training process?