Working Multiple Dogs | Principles for the Distraction Dog

The Distraction Dog is not very important to this exercise. This dog is simply used as a distraction for the Working Dog’s duration behavior. The ‘work’ that we do with the Distraction Dog is not important. What’s important is getting to the Release for the Working Dog.

Start Simply

We can work a sit with the Distraction Dog and work and pay the Working Dog. Simple, eh? If we’ve got our working dog on a pedestal, we can structure our ‘work’ with the Distraction Dog so the energy level and position make a proper challenge for the Working Dog. We want to start simply so the Working Dog is successful.

If our Working Dog is triggered by movement or motion, use food and keep the Distraction Dog calm and slow.

Stay Focused

Remember that the Distraction Dog is not important. The only thing that is important is getting that Working Dog released.

Sample behaviors to work for Distraction Dog:

  • Attention
  • Positioning
  • Spot/Pedestal
  • Hand Targeting
  • Heelwork
  • Freeshaping
  • Low Intensity Play
  • Increase Play Intensity

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My Dog is not Food Motivated

This issue comes up every once in a while in my discussions and training sessions with students and potential students. Personally, I’ve never ran across a dog that’s not food motivated, and I don’t really think they exist. Any dog that is in decent shape and is hungry is motivated by food.