Training dogs for walks in changing terrain.
While keeping some distance between the teams the group has to take a walk through naturally changing terrain. Some types of terrain that are important to train in are, fields, forests, gravel, crossing small streams, heavily wooded areas, small bridged rivers and the like. The dogs should follow their masters without becoming overly distracted by their surroundings, for example, not stopping to pursue strange smells or chase animals etc…
Giving the command “Down” and going out of sight.
The trainer should give the dog the command “Down” and “Stay” next to a tree trunk and then walk a short distance till they are out of visual contact with their dog. The trainer could go behind a tree trunk or lie down in a depression in the ground.
After an amount of time, dictated by the level of training of the dog, the trainer would return to the dog and reward them for a job well done.
Training “Down” with distractions.
As in the exercise above the dog would be order to lie down and stay and then the trainer would go out of sight.
As the trainer goes out of sight they would try and distract the dog into moving. Some of the things the dog trainer could do to try and distract the dog are: running away, crunching fallen leaves or breaking branches. Once the trainer is out of sight of the dog they could continue making noise and trying to distract the dog, by throwing pine cones or breaking twigs etc…
Be sure that when the dog trainer returns to retrieve the waiting dog it is heartily rewarded and allow to search for some hidden surprises (left by the dog trainer while in hiding).
Practicing “Come” in the forest with other dogs present.
The dog trainers and dogs form a alley along a forest pathway, with the dogs sitting on one side and the trainers standing in front of them at the distance of a few meters. At a command from the course instructor the first trainer with their dog would walk to the end of the “alley” and giving their dog the command to sit and stay they would leave them there looking towards the other end of the alley. Then the dog trainer would quickly walk back to the other end of the alley and turn around so that they are looking at their dog. At a signal from the course instructor the dog trainer would give the command “Come” and then they would retake their positions in the alley. The next team would follow suit.