Every dog is different, and different breeds have different traits that may make them faster at learning some tasks, but find it harder to resist temptations when working on different skills.  So we cannot expect all dogs to achieve like programmed robots, but if we look at setting goals for ourself when training, it can help us track our progress and make more informed and calculated decisions about when and where it might be safe to let your dog run off lead, for example.

Training goals is all about setting achievable targets for yourself and your dog for different tasks. 

For example, if you are unsure of your dogs reliability to not take off on sight of a squirrel on a walk, you would set a goal of making sure that you can stop your dog on voice and whistle cues  within 5 seconds of giving the cue. 

If you are able to do this then, your goal would be to develop this to the point whereby you can do it with some distractions and with some distance between you and the dog, using a line or in a secure area.

When you think you are ready and able to achieve these goals you can join one of our assessment days where we can work through a series of exercises to see how well you and your dog are able to carry these out, and be graded ‘not ready’, or 1 – 3 and if you are able to achieve a grade 3, you will be eligible to have a sew on badge to mark your success.

The idea of this is for your own benefit. If you can achieve a grade 3 you will know that you have a very good stop with high level distractions and so be more confident to take walks with your dog off lead in areas such as woodland where squirrels, rabbits, game birds and other wildlife may possibly present. If you are able to achieve grade 1, you have some work to do, but know that your dog will respond quickly depending on the level of distractions, and so in and open space where there is minimal risk of encountering small furry prey animals you might feel that you are safe to let them have a free run.