Sometimes we train to solve specific problems and sometimes we train for specific skills, and sometimes we train for total life preparedness.  This is a  ‘cradle to grave’, or global, training plan for dogs at the basic level, not necessarily in order of priority.


  • Intermediate,
  • Terminal

Targets:   Here

  • Distance
  • Direction
  • Duration
  • Pole – touch a pole (dressage whip)
  • Station – send dog to another person or a thing hanging on the wall
  • Hierarchies – teach that if I say here, first choice fingers, then pole, station
  • Names of Targets – at first they are all “here”
  • Send-aways – “go” exercise with Cowboy


Use Name & Explain and Bridging everywhere, all the time

  • Body parts
  • Locations
  • Activities
  • Actions
  • Individuals
  • Directions and orientations
  • Items – Yang with the ball…
  • What will happen – What animal should do
  • What is happening – How animal is doing
  • What did happen- How the animal did and “You were so good, you just did <this>…”.

Conditioned Relaxation

  • Establish it
  • Alert
  • Toggle
  • Maintain during Cycles


Basic life skills

  • Door manners (deal with management first with door, crate, plant, high, wait, leave it…)
  • Crate
  • Plant and High
  • Wait
  • Waiting turn for treats, toys and eating
  • Leaving food and toys until permitted, releasing same
  • Teach movement, walk, stop, run, turns
  • Collars, halters, harnesses, muzzles and leashes (safety backup equipment)
  • Meet and greet
Body parts - left hip

Body parts – left hip


Moving target skills

  •  Target when teaching walk
  • CreateTight leash walking – pulling
  • Loose lead walking – when you want them to be loose
  • Expand 1 step., 2 steps, 4 steps, etc…


Body handling skills

  • Wipe face
  • Clean eyes
  • Clean ears
  • Inspect teeth
  • Oral swab
  • Tooth inspection, cleaning
  • Handle paws
  • Trim nails


Car skills

  • Get in
  • Attain and maintain ‘easy’
  • Down-stay
  • Crate and/or seat belt
  • Name “go, turns, start, stop”


Vet behaviors

  • Injections
  • Blood draw leg and juglar
  • Shaving
  • Rectal exam, thermometer, anal expression



  • Resource removal
  • Child proofing
  • Reactivity to dogs, cats and puppies
  • Chase inhibition
  • Stop mid action – on a dime


Task training – give him fun interesting things to do;  things the dog is beguiled to do it for the fun of the challenge and satisfaction of the accomplishment


Training Plan, Level Two,  will appear in a future post