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December 14, 2023 14 mins

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Imagine turning every random moment of your day with your furry friend into a mini dog training session, building reliability and attentiveness with just a simple cue. It might seem like a dream, but that's exactly what we're promising in today's episode with the method 'Train as You Go.' Discover the triple power of the cue "down" - it’s easy, calming, and extremely adaptable. You'll learn how to use this foundational command, and why you should be aiming for at least 10 mini training moments every day. We'll also share a secret - the importance of a treat pouch and high-pitched praise. 

Now, what if you could turn everyday activities into exciting learning opportunities, challenging your pup while keeping him engaged and attentive? That's where we jump in with the concept of incremental challenges. Starting with the basic "down" command, we'll guide you on how to gradually up the stakes, making each day a little more challenging than the last. But remember, it's not just about the challenges; it's about making the training fun and rewarding for both of you. We'll share some tips on experimenting with different cues and making every training session a positive experience. So, buckle up and get ready for a fun-filled journey of training and growth with your furry friend.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Do you ever feel like your dog needs a brain switch
before they start listening andtraining, or does your dog only
perk up after the, say, third orfourth time that you've given a
commander cue?
Well, I want to take just about10 minutes or less to introduce
you to an incredible techniquecalled train.

(00:22):
As you go, this technique willtransform every day moments into
little tiny, mini, minitraining sessions, and this is
going to build attentiveness andit's going to build reliability
.
One quick cue at a time.
Don't go anywhere.
Let's take a couple minutes andunpack this.

Speaker 2 (00:45):
Raised by wolves with canine DNA and his blood.
Having trained more than 24,000vets helping you and your fur
babies thrive, live in studiowith Will Bangura answering your
pet behavior and trainingquestions.
Ladies and gentlemen, pleasewelcome your host and favorite
pet behavior expert, WillMangura.

Speaker 1 (01:14):
Would you like to go on Wookiees?
Good day dog lovers.
I'm Will Bangura.
Thanks for joining me foranother episode of dog training
today.
Today I'm going to just do areal quick, brief, brief, mini
podcast.

(01:34):
I want to talk about atechnique that I don't know if
it's something that I picked upfrom another trainer years ago
or whether this is somethingthat just came about in my mind
doing tons of training with dogsand clients, but I call it
train as you go and I'm going totalk about doing train as you

(01:58):
go with drop and chill.
Okay, one of the things that youknow I think we've all
experienced this, whether you'rea new dog owner, a new pet
parent, or whether you are aseasoned dog trainer listening
to this podcast.

(02:19):
When you start a trainingsession, do you have the dog the
kind of dog that it kind ofneeds a little bit of a warm up
period where, when you firststart your structured let's say,
for example, you devote 30minutes every day of structured

(02:42):
training time and you begin thatsession with your dog and maybe
the first command or cue or two, your dog's a little slow to
get started, but then after 30seconds, 60 seconds or so,
you've asked the dog to do one,two, three things.
Now, all of a sudden, you'vegot your dog's attention.

(03:04):
Now your dog is in the groove,so to speak.
Well, in the real world.
And why do we train?
Isn't it so that we cancommunicate to our dogs in the
real world and we can managethem and manage their behaviors?
So the only benefit of trainingis if it's reliable when you

(03:33):
need it in the real world.
And in the real world there'snot a warm up period.
In the real world we need ourdogs to respond right away, the
first time, the first time thatwe give a command or a cue.
Okay, so train as you go.

(03:56):
It's like sprinkling trainingfairy dust throughout your day.
What you're going to do isyou're going to incorporate
short, random trainingopportunities into your regular
routine.
You're going to constantlyremind your dog that focus and

(04:16):
listening and needing to respondto a cue or command can happen
anywhere and it can happenanytime.
Think of it as building abridge between structured
training sessions and real lifescenarios.

(04:37):
Now I like to use the thing thatI call drop and chill.
Why drop and chill?
Well, using the cue down as ourtraining foundation does
several things.
It kind of offers a triplewhammy, if you will, of benefits

(04:57):
.
First of all, it's simple andclear.
It's a straightforward keywordcommand.
Most dogs understand it Now.
Granted, if your dog does notknow how to lie down, well, you
need to teach your dog how tolie down first in order to be
able to start this process.
But again, it's simple andclear.
It's straightforward Most dogsunderstand the keyword command

(05:19):
of going down.
Number two, the other benefitwhy do you drop and chill?
Well, it has a calming effect.
Lying down promotes relaxationand that reduces unwanted
behaviors.
Also, there's versatility.
Down is useful in varioussituations I talked about.

(05:42):
You know it's useful forcalming down an excitable dog,
and maybe you need your dog tolie down because your dog's in
your way when you're cooking andyou need to move your dog 10
feet away and ask your dog tolie down.
There's lots of practicalapplications for that.
All right, are you ready tounleash the magic?

(06:03):
All right, let's go throughwhat the steps are.
Okay, so first of all, let'stalk about duration.
Now, if you are going to dothis, I want you to dedicate 30
days to this experiment.
Okay, do it 30 days.

(06:24):
You can do that.
I guarantee you're going tolove the benefits if you do this
.
So dedicate 30 days to thisexperiment.
Remember can consistency.
Consistency is key.
Now let's talk about our targetfrequency.
What we want to do is we wantto shoot for at least 10 train

(06:49):
as you go, moments per day, andyou're going to do this very
spontaneously throughout the day.
So 10 times randomly throughoutthe day, you're going to ask
your dog to drop, you're goingto ask your dog to lie down, and
that's it, and you're going togo about your day.

(07:11):
Now let's make sure that in thebeginning of the day, you get
your treat pouch on, because,again, you're going to be doing
this randomly throughout the day.
You don't have time to just gograb your treat pouch.
So have a treat pouch on.
Stock up on your dog's favoritetreats.

(07:32):
They should be highly palatable.
Also, make sure that you've gotsome really good, high pitched
praise and playful affection foryour dog as well.
All right, we need to embracethese little tiny moments of
training with our dog every day.

(07:54):
So, throughout your day, whatyou need to do is you need to
keep your eyes open for your dog.
Okay, be more attentive andaware of your dog throughout
your day and where your dog is,as you, let's say, pass your dog
in the hallway or walk by yourdog's bed or go into the kitchen

(08:19):
and your dog happens to be inthe kitchen or you walk into the
living room.
Well, whenever you see your dograndomly, you know you're going
from the kitchen to living room.
Whenever you see your dograndomly, give that one and done
cure command, ask your dog tolay down, give the cue for down.

(08:44):
When your dog goes down, makesure that you're showering your
dog with rewards, mark thatbehavior with a clicker or an
excited yes and make sure thatyou follow that by a high value
food reward or Praise, love,attention or a favorite toy.

(09:05):
Now, make sure that you keepthis random.
What do I mean by that?
Well, mix it up, don't fallinto a predictable routine, and
what I mean by that is vary thelocations, the context and the
times of these little minitraining sessions.
And when I say a mini trainingsession, I'm talking about

(09:28):
giving a cue one time, havingyour dog do that, respond to
that mark and reward and then goabout your business.
So, literally, this is 30seconds or less and you go about
your business, and you do thisat least 10 times a day.
Now, like I said, these areshort and sweet.

(09:52):
Keep the interactions brief.
I mean it could be five to 10seconds of focused training.
Now all I'm doing is asking thedog to lie down.
I'm marking and rewarding,releasing the dog going about my
business, and that will leave avery lasting impression if
you're consistent, if you committo 30 days, if you do this 10

(10:18):
times every day, randomly, ifyour dog doesn't respond right
away, just simply repeat the cueor command and reward any
progress, even a partial drop ora lowered head.
Remember the goal is to buildattentiveness and reliability.

(10:38):
All right, practice, practice.
Practice doesn't make perfect,there's no such thing as
perfection, but it brings aboutmore reliability and permanence
of that behavior.
Now let's make sure that we'recelebrating our progress and our
success.
Track your wins, all right.

(11:01):
Keep a simple log or a chart totrack your daily train.
As you go, moments, Think aboutwhat you're seeing in your
progress, witnessing yourprogress, monitoring that,
putting it down on paper.
That can be very motivating foryou.

(11:21):
Now the other thing graduallyincrease the difficulty.
What do I mean by that?
Well, as your dog becomes morereliable, add a slight challenge
, use it down in a slightly moredistracting environment or
maybe create a distraction for asecond and have the dog stay in

(11:46):
that down a little longer,maybe five seconds, before
releasing your dog.
Now, most importantly, have funwith this.
Let the training be a joyfulbonding experience.
Your dog's gonna pick up onyour positive energy.
Your dog's gonna pick up onyour enthusiasm.

(12:09):
So make sure that you're havingfun with that.
Make the promise, make theprocess that your dog has to go
through something that your dogwill love to do, and when you do
that, you're always gonna havea dog that's gonna respond well
for you.
Now let me give you a bonus tipDon't just limit yourself to

(12:33):
down.
Feel free to experiment withother basic cues like sit or
stay or come as you getcomfortable with the train, as
you go technique and as you getthrough your first 30 days at
least 10 times each day, justasking your dog to lie down and

(13:00):
marking and rewarding Once youget through that process.
Try that with different cues.
Okay.
Remember consistency.
Consistency is the key andpatience, okay.
But by preparing your day withthese mini training

(13:21):
opportunities, what's gonnahappen is you're gradually gonna
shape your dog into being moreattentive and more focused
towards you and more responsivewhen you're asking your dog to
do something and getting yourdog to listen the first time,

(13:43):
every time, every time wherethere's no warmup needed, no
warmup required, all right.
So grab your treats, all right.
Grab your treats, grab yourtreat bag, channel your inner
canine behaviorist and get readyto sprinkle some train as you

(14:05):
go magic into your lives.
Have a great day, everybody.
I'm outta here.
Get in the dog.
Just get in the dog.
Come on, just get in the dogcome on.
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