“GROUP PLACE” AT THE DOG KNOWLEDGE
For dogs who are in our training program or have graduated from our training program and are visiting for daycare, we try to conduct a “Group Place” every day at our facility. The benefits of “Group Place” include most or all of the recognized ways to train a dog as well as having many subtle benefits for dogs with social issues.
- LURING. In the beginning stages of Place we lure a dog onto the Placebed and reward them for remaining on the Placebed.
- MODELING. It is proven that dogs learn both good and bad habits by watching other dogs. When we conduct a “Group Place” it’s interesting to watch the dogs watching each other.
- NEGATIVE PUNISHMENT. When a dog breaks Place we put the dog back on Place and then immediately reward all of the other dogs. By withholding the reward from the dog that broke Place we have introduced Negative Punishment.
- CAPTURING. Anytime a dog sits, downs or shows any sign of settling on Place, we immediately “capture” that behavior with a treat. They quickly learn that not only remaining on Place but settling on Place garners a reward.
The psychological benefits of conducting a “Group Place” are that we are bringing together dogs of different temperaments and energy levels and rewarding them for calm behaviors. This is great impulse control training that carries over to other training behaviors. A fearful dog learns to be less fearful because he has positive experiences in close proximity to other dogs. A dominant dog learns self-control and submission to his trainer. Many dogs who have had issues with other dogs learn to make peace in a “Group Place” because they are desensitized to being around a dog who they may have had issues with in the past.
And finally, most doggy daycare facilities crate or kennel the dogs for 3-4 hours daily. They call this quiet time or nap time. We believe in quiet time but feel that when dogs are tired from group play or training that we can use their exhaustion as a teaching opportunity. The perfect time for a “Group Place”