“The minute you get away from the fundamentals, whether it’s proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation, the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.“ – Michael Jordan
“The same with our dogs. If they don’t understand basic behaviors how can we expect them to perform the more complex tasks which build upon those basic behaviors? Only took me a year to understand this. I’m learning too.” – Kathy Wolfe, a student of DogLogic
In their book “Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog”, Debbie Martin, RVT, VTS (Behavior), CPDT – KA, KPA CTP and Kenneth M. Martin, DVM describe “Foundation / Framework behaviors” as:
“Basic behaviors we teach our dogs in order to improve our communication with them. They are the building blocks for all future training and learning, whether you hope to train your dog on a competitive level or just want your puppy to have manners. Foundation training is where you should begin.”
And as you now know, I would also add – “Where you should constantly return”
The Basic foundation behaviors described in this very informative book, are:
Each of these are techniques that, once understood, will help you to train any other behavior that you may need for the general well being of your pet or for the specific behaviors of your chosen sport.
If you, or anyone you know is about to welcome a new puppy into their home, this book is a great one for you to recommend. ☺
In our classes and lessons at DogLogic, we have recently been shining a spotlight on recognizing where great fundamentals are needed in everything you do.
How many of you, for example, taught your dog a hand touch “when he was a puppy” but haven’t thought to revisit the skill recently.
If you are an agility competitor, try this small challenge.
Do you have Stimulus Control over your hand touch cue?
Will your dog come to a hand touch if you are moving really close to a tunnel?
Will he come to your hand instead of take a jump if they are in close proximity?
If not, you may need to take a quick look at some of your steering mechanisms! ☺
If you compete in obedience or other sports, try a similar challenge.
Ask for a basic, foundation behavior in a different context than your dog is used to.