Teaching your dog skills as well as behaviours

This is the type of exercise we do at Positively Excellent Dog Trainers workshops. Please watch the video carefully. You may need to watch it several times.

1. Identify the types of activities the dog is doing, how many are there?

2. What skills does the dog need to have acquired to be able to do the types of activities in the video?

If you’d like to take part, please comment below. I’ll ask more questions as the thread develops.
Please keep all comments civil and no comments on comments please, as it makes it too difficult to moderate.

If you have attended one fo our workshops and have done this assignment, please don’t comment but do read as you’ll learn from what others observe.

If you are interested in this style of learning about dogs, subscribe below. We will be offering online training this year.



The activities I’ve identified are

1. Chasing
2. Retrieving
3. Listening
4. Responding to cues
5. Tugging
6. Waiting
7. Searching
8 Settling

The skill set I am testing for here is that she is able to switch from one activity to another, then another. When I started training Watson to be able to do this skill, I used two activities shes knows how to do well, chasing and tuggin for example, then asked herto switch between the two. Then I would do two other activities, ask her to switch between the two and then mix more in.

What this teaches your dog is the ability to settle after activity, e.g. a visitor comes in, your dog is active, now ask them to settle again onece they’ve said hello.

Leo’s Tale


Lindsay is one of the Glasgow Dog Trainer and Behaviour Consultant team and Leo is her awesome wee dog.

Leo turned 5 last week meaning that we have had him for 4 years.

How we met has a bit of a fairy-tale vibe to it!

We got Millie in the summer of 2010 and knew from the start that we would like to have a second dog.

As first time dog owners with a high energy dog we decided to wait for a while before introducing a second dog to the family.

After Millie’s accident and her resulting behaviour issues we had put the idea on the back burner but some things just seem to happen at the right time.

Before I started out on my dog training adventure I worked as a photographer and we were exhibiting at the Girls Day Out event at the SECC in Glasgow in 2012.

On the second day I happened to spot this small brown dog with a curly tale as it disappeared into the crowd.

Telling the other girls that I was “off to find that dog” I headed for the SSPCA stall.

There he was, a wee staffie cross saying hello to passers by. I knelt down and let him come to me, as he stood on his back legs to get a better face licking position I knew he was the dog for us!

We took Millie to meet him on the Monday and by Friday he was home. (a bit of a record apparently. Think they were fed up of my daily phone calls asking how the rehoming process was coming along!)

We were all prepared. Toys and food put away. No dogs on the furniture. Feed them separately. All the usual protocols. Prepared for squabbles and upset.

It couldn’t have gone any better.

We definitely found Millie’s perfect match.

They are completely different in so many ways but are totally compatible.

He’s the ying to her yang.

Over the past 4 years we have learned so much about our boy.

In regards to training he isn’t the most confident so we do a lot of activities to help build on this. Searching for the catnip mouse is one of his favourite games.

Leo is pretty sensitive to noises in certain environments so we have been working a lot on his assessment skills lately and building on investigating noises rather than running away. He’s coming on great.

His favourite activity is snuggling on the sofa and I wonder if he would ever want to leave it at all if it wasn’t for his big sister dog demanding daily adventures!

Taking on a new dog is a life-changing event and should have had a lot of consideration put into it.

Leo has enriched all of our lives since the day we brought him home and we wouldn’t change him for the world!