One of the key skills we look for in our foundation training is fast and high level reward. Our goal is to try and reward every 2 seconds, which not only helps target specific behaviours but also helps in maintaining high drive in the dogs’ work ethic.
Throughout our dogs’ lives, most of their rear cross training is carried out in sessions roughly the same length of time it takes for the kettle to boil. We teach a Sit Rear Cross drill aiming to reward a fast 180 degree head turn when we execute a rear cross. With my 2 second goal of ‘cue = behaviour = reward,’ I can practice around 45 rear crosses in that 3 minute window of the water coming to the boil! Just think how long it takes you to reward 45 rear crosses on equipment. It is unlikely you will achieve that amount of behaviour in several 20 minute training sessions over several weeks. Add in the difficulty of communicating to the dog it was the pairing of crossing behind the dog (cue) with the head turn (behaviour) that you were delivering the reward for, and not the other behaviours the dog was performing as it negotiated the equipment, before, during and after. In reality, spending the time to set up a rear cross jump drill leads to often inefficient and lower quality training.
So, you don’t think you have enough time in the day to train your dog? Well… once you’ve finished reading this tip, take a break from your computer, make a cup of coffee and by the time you take that first sip you could have trained several weeks of rear crosses.
Working on these skills from the beginning stage through to the highest of proofs is just one of the segments we focus on in Ultimate Foundation.
Register now for Ultimate Foundation, class starts on Monday, 16 February.
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