In episode 25, I answer a question from a listener about making the obedience that he’s learned in class more functional in real life. I answer another question about whether someone should use a “prong collar” in training. In the puppy section, I go through the steps for taking a puppy from an intermediate sit to an advanced sit.

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In this session:

Have you had the experience of not having the obedience you learn in a class NOT be very usable in real life? Here’s how to fix that.


If your dog doesn’t appear to be progressing in obedience, should you move from a harness to a training collar?


How do you progress past the intermediate puppy “sit” lesson that I outlined a few podcasts ago?

Details In this Section

Pat’s functional obedience scenario:

  1. Use loose leash walking every where
  2. Practice obedience in at least 10 different locations this week
  3. Train with distractions through the “entire arc of the behavior”


Sarah’s contradictory advice about harnesses and training collars:

  1. Use whatever collar reaches minimum threshold of effective communication
  2. Add structure to your dog’s everyday life
  3. Use loose leash walking and balance negative feedback to dissuade basic unmannered behavior


Tracy’s advanced puppy “sit” progression:

  1. Wean off of treat #1
  2. Add multiple distractions with a direct and consistent reinforcing treat for each new distraction (work up to 6 objects)
  3. Wean off of consistent reward for each distraction object. Work to using only one ending treat prior to the release command.
  4. Move the final treat to be given after the release command

Wean off of that treat by rewarding intermittently and randomly

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