Last week we showed you how to begin training your reactive dog to “Find it!” (that is, find tossed treats) in the house and back yard. After Part 1 of this training, your dog should be responding to the “Find it!” cue by sniffing the ground for treats, even if they didn’t see you throw any.
Now that your dog has learned “Find it!” in the comfort of your home and yard, it’s time to slowly move the behavior out into the real world. This week’s video shows you how to train your reactive dog to “Find it!” outside the back yard.
For dogs who are only mildly reactive or fearful, this week’s training might seem too simple. We start the process of moving out of the back yard by opening a gate so the dog sees the street, but stays in the backyard at first. Even if this is easy for your dog, work through the steps in order. You’ll be better off moving through the steps very gradually, rather than too quickly.
We prefer to train “Find it” in the context of our Scentwork classes for fearful and reactive dogs. In Scentwork class, “Find it!” is established as a fun searching game, and we work on building persistence in the context of the game before ever trying to take it outside. But if you prefer to teach “Find it!” to your reactive dog as a simple behavior without going through Scentwork class, check out this week’s video on Part 2 of “Find it” training.