Paws with a Cause shares training tips online

WAYLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Many of you are stuck at home with a long list of things on your to-do list.

If one of those items is training your dog, a local group is offering up a way to help you without leaving the comfort of your home.

For more than 40 years, Wayland-based Pause with a Cause has turned puppies into dogs that can do some pretty amazing things for differently-abled people.

So, they know a thing or two about how to train your dog.

Before a Paws’ dog gets their permanent assignment, they go through basic training with their foster family.

“Due to COVID(-19) and the stay at home order, we switched to the virtual sessions,” said Haley Gorenflo, Paws with a Cause trainer.

So, she recorded a series of training videos based on Paw’s obedience training curriculum.

She shows how to use treats, like meat and cheese, to improve training.

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“I have something that he finds enticing. And he wants to be paying attention to me because I have something more interesting than he is going to find on the ground,” said Gorenflo as she takes her dog through its paces.

The next video shows games you can use to get your dog to respond to their own name.

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“This is a pretty straight forward exercise,” Gorenflo explains in the video. “I throw the treat away from me. My dog goes out to get the treat. I call his name. He comes back. I throw another treat.”

A third video shows the best way to get your dog to avoid everyday distractions.

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“Practicing this ‘look at that’ exercise is how I get a dog that can see other dogs and not lose their mind or see people and not get over-excited,” said Gorenflo.

While the videos were started to keep Paws with a Cause foster families up to speed with training, Gorenflo hopes they can help both the two-legged and four-legged get through the pandemic.

“Now they are spending a lot of time with their dog, so they might be noticing the dog is maybe getting on their nerves a little bit more because everybody is cooped up in the house,” said Gorenflo. “They can do all of them in one day, or they can just take their time and do one at a time, one day at a time.”

Of course, another effect of the pandemic is donations are down to organizations like Paws with a Cause. Donations can be made online.