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Command Combos

Dogs are like sponges. They will learn however much you want to teach them. But there is a limit to how many commands we as humans can remember or teach them. As my dogs advance and learn all the skills I want them to, one of my favorite things to do is to really test how well they know things. I do this by starting to string together commands, working at a distance and adding distractions. It really makes them use their brain and have to make the right decisions on their own without relaying on me as a crutch.


Ellie has a strong foundation in agility and directionals from USAR. We had some fun this week playing at the dog park. I'd give her the command and she had to figure out which direction and then which agility obstacle I wanted her to do from a ways away.


When you reach the point that you feel your dog really knows things, challenge their knowledge. If your always standing, give the command from a seated position. What does your dog do? Ask them for 2 or more things in a row. Ask them to do it from a distance. Start mixing in distractions. Its fun to try things to mix it up, but remember to always make sure your dog is successful. If you find something your dog doesn't do well when you push them break things up and build towards what you want. Your dog will better understand your commands and it can be a fun and bonding time for you both.

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