Are you one of those people that just can’t get up in the morning and everything is just a complete struggle? Do you find you’re always running behind and rushing around and are often late to work or for other commitments? Have you tried multiple different types of alarm, such as those that are supposed to wake you up when you’re in a lighter sleep and still nothing works?
Well, fear not because not all hope is lost. What if you had a living alarm, one that wouldn’t quit when you rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, one that you couldn’t turn off? Yup, you guessed it, now’s the time to train your pooch to wake you up.
Not only is having your pooch wake you up early an extremely convenient, impressive, and cute trick for him to learn, it also has some extremely important benefits. What if the worst were to happen and there was a fire for example, wouldn’t you want your pooch to wake you up? Training your dog this trick could one day save your life and the lives of those you love. However, this trick doesn’t come naturally to all pups and will be an easier task for larger dogs with a bigger bark to learn, as they’ll be louder and able to catch your attention more easily. This isn’t to say smaller breeds can’t learn as well, though. While not the most difficult of tricks to teach, it isn’t exactly the easiest either and could take your pooch a few weeks to a month to learn properly.
First things first, to get started you’ll need your trusty alarm clock! You’ll be teaching your dog that this is the signal he needs to hear to wake you up. You’ll need a good attitude and patience, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will it take a day for your pooch to learn to wake you, you’ll need to teach him in stages. Although it depends on how you would like your dog to wake you up, you’ll need a form of reward. For those heavy sleepers out there, treats as a reward should do the trick. However, if you would like a lighter awakening, grab some jam or peanut butter, as this will be good for your dog to lick off of you, waking you up in a more gentle fashion. For those of you into clicker training, grab your clicker as well before we get started, as you can use this to help teach him the correct wake-up behaviors.
I am having a hard time finding resources on how to train a dog to go get help. I have been playing "hide and seek" with him in an effort to introduce the concept of him finding me, but I am epileptic and would like for him to be my hiking buddy and was hoping to maybe introduce a command that ques him to find another human in the event that I fall. I know this is going to be a long road but he's already really in tune with my schedule and needs and would like to give him a job.
Hello Kristina, You will need some volunteers to train this. With someone in the same room as you, tell pup to "Get Help" or whatever cue you want to use and direct pup toward the other person. If pup doesn't go, the person should coax pup over, then give a treat when pup arrives. As pup improves and can go to the other person without extra encouragement from either of you when you say Get Help, start increasing the distance between you and that person pup has to go to. Work up to pup being able to go to the from a couple of hundred feet away, adding one foot at a time to repetitions. You can use a long leash or a friend's fenced area to practice (you also want to work up to somewhere pup isn't as familiar with - like another person's yard and not just your own once you have gotten really far from the other person in practice). When pup can get the other person from far away, recruit a different friend and start the training process over again with the person in the same room at first. (it should go quicker this time though since pup has the basic idea, but will still need to be restarted). When pup can get that person from a couple hundred feet away, then do the same thing with at least 20 more people so pup learns how to go to anyone. When pup can do it with a variety of people, when you give the get help cue, act like you are falling (you can also pretend to fall earlier in the training process too, while saying "Get Help". Practice with the fall and the cue until pup does well with that, then fall and wait seven seconds before cueing "Get Help" to see if pup will get help when you just fall, before you command them. Practice this until pup is consistently going for help just when you fall without needing the additional cue after. You will also need to teach pup how to lead the person back to you, which will start with the person giving pup your hide and seek cue you are currently using. Practicing until pup is consistent, then waiting seven seconds before giving pup the cue to go to you, to see if pup will lead them there on their own. When pup gets to the person they are going for help to - that person should give pup a treat each time, and when pup leads the person back to you, you or the other person should give pup an additional treat. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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