Basic Manners For Dogs 6+ Months / 6-week Lesson Plan

Week 1

 Humans only for this lesson / includes classroom lecture and Demos

  • Shopping list

  • Making the most of mealtime. (Using mealtime for training).

  • How dogs learn

  • Using Markers for communication

  • Learning proper human mechanical skills for training

  • Sit works in all contexts

  • Management strategies for your puppy before he is trained and housebroken.

  • Housetraining/crate training protocols. (optional)

  • Intro to no-pull gear for walkies (optional)


Week 2

  • Sits and downs for a lure

  • Sits and downs for hand signal

  • Using splits

  • Touch targeting (hand)

  • Surprise party recalls, back away recalls with distance, Premack recalls

  • Continue practicing sit works in all contexts in real-life situations

  • Capturing attention layers 1 and 2

  • Collar grab exercises

  • Food bowl bonuses

  • Socialization


Week 3:

  • Sits and downs adding verbal’s

  • Random order series for sits, downs, stand

  • Leave it layer 1

    • Plan steps 1-7

  • Intro to no reward markers

  • Intro to push, drop, stick rules for managing your training criteria

  • Premack recalls (triangle)

  • Around the people recalls / intro to whistle (optional)

  • Capture attention layer 3


Week 4:

  • Delivering your cue faster. (The importance of speedy cues)

  • Moving to variable reinforcement schedule (asking for more behaviors for less reward)

  • Down-stays on the Mat (with food distractions and movement).

    • step circle R and L, quick back and forward Bungie movement in varied directions.

  • Eliminating treats from your body (home set-up)

    • (learning to maintain an appropriate rate of reinforcement when requesting behaviors vs consistent flow of treats when in training mode.

  • Recalls distance (see puppy start right

  • Attention layer 4


Week 5:

  • Greeting control

    • Hand-touches for greeting

    • walk by hand touches

    • Hand touch and chat

    • Approach (hand touches) and retreat exercises

    • Touch and handler turns to go

  • Adding duration to “stay”

    • Bungies across the room

    • Duration Variable Schedule

  • Shaping “go to the Mat”

  • Drop it


Week 6 (Graduation)

  • Down-stays in new environments

  • Sits and downs for body handling and exam prep

  • Keeping attention under distractions

  • Review any outstanding problems

  • Leave it on walks

  • Recalls under stronger distractions.

  • What’s next

  • How to build motivation for alternative reinforcers (toys and praise)