As winter continues to linger in my neck of the woods, with day after day of cold, snow, wind, rock salt and the need to layer layer layer, I am heartened by the obvious lengthening of days. It is a sure sign that spring is really coming.
As I am working my own Six Pillar program with my 3 dogs, I note again for anyone who cares to listen, that training in winter is actually EASIER than other seasons, especially if you live in a 4 season climate. It may be a more daunting project to take the dog out and about, because of those aforementioned wintry elements, but once you’re dressed, there are many reasons WHY it’s easier.
Here’s a short list:
PILLAR 1 – DISTRACTIONS
1. Fewer people/dogs/other are out because it’s cold, ergo fewer distractions.
2. The wild critters — squirrels, birds, chipmunks, etc., are also shivering somewhere else and are fewer and further between, hence reducing distractions.
3. The leaves are all gone, the branches bare, and you can see more about, thus maintaining greater proactivity in awareness of environmental distractions.
4. Your Own Reason.
PILLAR 2 – DISTANCE
1. As with #3 above, you can see further, thus allowing your dog greater freedom in appropriate locales to increase the reliability of the dog off leash — as the dog goes further away, you can see him!
2. Your Own Reason
PILLAR 3 – DURATION
1. Well, you probably aren’t going to be out as long as I might, so the dog will learn to have a greater practice of more frequent shorter walks, or one very nice long chilly one that makes the nap by the heater or fireplace that much sweeter.
2. Your Own Reason
To that end, I am back to producing new videos to illustrate examples of trained behavior in wintry times. My latest opus, my first attempt with the new iMovie version (bear with me, my learning curve in technology pales in comparison to non techy things), is called Sit, Stay, Go.
Watch it, and if you care to, comment or rate. The feedback I get can help motivate me back into the darkness of the editing room.