You’ll often see me in videos using the follow command when I’m hiking dogs off leash but the follow command had a ton of even more practical purposes in everyday life! The follow command is how we keep the dog in command while moving him from room to room inside, from place to crate and back again or out to potty during the training process.
When our clients take their dog home after their Go Home sessions (these sessions at the end of the dog’s board&train are where we focus on training the owner to use the tools, the commands and the training) we send every client home with a 90 day plan to follow to help both dog and owner make the adjustment to their new lifestyle after training. While owners are honing their skills and the dog is fresh out of training, we want to make things as clear and consistent for both which means removing the opportunity (freedom) for the first 90 days post training so the dog doesn’t slip back into their old ways and naughty habits in their home environment.
This not only helps empower owners by giving them great support and guidance during this stage of the training but also helps make a smoother transition from the super structure training environment back to the more relaxed home environment where dogs are always more likely to push boundaries and take liberties. One of the only times that a dog is not in command is when I release him to ‘go potty’. Once done, I immediately recall and back in command he goes! This eliminates the opportunity for the dog to make those old naughty choices that got him into trouble in the past while we’re patterning his new great behaviour and obedience skills. It takes a lot of practice and repetitions of new good habits to replace the old naughty ones and so we want to make sure that our dogs are only practicing the good stuff (and that we’re not allowing them to slip into the naughty stuff!) while we pattern pattern pattern!