Day 15 covers visual targeting.
According to SOCS it can be useful for several reasons, but the one I find interesting is to be able to tell a dog that got problems meeting other dogs, that there is one coming. ”Do you see it?” kind of thing. I work a lot with ”gossip training” (literal translation from swedish) where you train the dog to show the owner when something is coming. It can be other dogs, animals, people..
I could imagine that the visual targeting on cue might help, not only as Jo-Rosie said, to warn the dog and create a predictability.
Sometimes you might notice something before your dog does. In teaching a dog that gets triggered by something, to do something else, it’s important to keep a distance where the dog does not react more than where it’s possible to reach them. That would mean before they are in a too aroused state for you to be able to get in contact with it.
Visual targeting on cue could then help to get the dog to see the trigger before it feels the need to react strongly. That would give you a better chance at success with presenting alternative behaviours.
Anyway, Karma doesn’t have any similar problems (however, she always tells me when someone or something is coming) so I decided to continue working on her ”guard behaviour” for Mondioring. Then the dog has to focus on the handler and still be able to keep track of where you are. It’s mostly done by physical contact with the owner in combination with visual targeting.
I started the training but haven’t done it for quite some time. She had forgotten a bit and couldn’t switch from heelwork to ”Guard”. So I went back in my training plan, and thought the session went pretty well (apart from the barking then).
She has got too high arousal which makes her bark. That is not only taking a lot of energy, but also makes her less prone to think properly. However, if I stop every time she’s barking she tends to get frustrated which leads to even more barking. It’s a problem I will have to analyse and find a solution to.
I didn’t edit anything out since it’s not so long or have anything that interrupts the training sessions.