This lesson's commands:
Passing by a distraction = "On by" or "straight ahead"
Other handy commands your dog may already know:
Stopping or slowing what he or she is doing to wait for the next command = "Wait"
Not sniffing or heading towards a distraction = "Leave it"
|"On by!" Romeo is looking at a deer off |
to the side that Mia hasn't seen yet.
Remember it is also important to teach the opposite when you are being passed by other runners, dogs or cyclists. This is where the 'leave it' command comes in handy. In the same way you would use the 'on by' command, as you see the passer coming up on you, tell your dog to 'leave it' firmly, giving little tugs on the line to keep his or her attention. 'Leave it' can also be used when your dog is sniffing at an inappropriate time or has his or her attention focused on something other than you when you need them to keep heading on down the trail.
The 'wait' command can be handy in a variety of situations. I will often run in town with my dogs in the mornings before work. I use 'wait' as we approach intersections so that he will slow down and wait for me to tell him when it is safe to cross. I have used this for regular walks for so long that it was natural for him to do the same when we are running. 'Wait' is also helpful when we are all geared up and waiting for my GPS to find the satellite. Sometimes its sooo slow! When I say 'wait' Romeo knows he needs to watch for the next command. He usually stops or slows and faces me.
These commands and the others in the previous two lessons are the core of the commands I use on my runs. There are lots of other tips and techniques to Canicross that I am continuing to learn as I spend more time on the trails. For future posts on Canicross training, I will title them appropriately and label them with Canicross Tips so they will show up in a search of my blog.
I hope these three lessons have spurned on some of you to try Canicross with your dogs. I'd love to hear your stories so email me! If you give me enough info and a photo, I'll include your story in a blog post!