24 Jan 2016

Training Tip – Be Patient!

Be patient in starting your young dog on equipment – it will pay off!

For the first 12 – 15 MONTHS of your puppy’s life, focus on REWARD STRUCTURE and FOUNDATION SKILLS before even thinking about any agility equipment. This allows your puppy to not only gain the understanding of solid behaviors necessary for a long and very competitive agility career, but it also allows your youngster to fully develop his coordination, and mature muscularly, so that he can physically give you the fastest and strongest behaviors possible. 

Remember, how your dog learns to execute the equipment first, is what […]

14 Aug 2015

Training Tip – Be Prepared!

Next time you plan to train your dog, be totally prepared before you get your dog out of his crate.  The idea being that when you do get to work, you can immediately jump into your training without any downtime that would cause your dog to become disinterested in you.  When a handler is not prepared, their dog usually finds or allows other things to hold their attention such as other dogs, other people, sniffing the ground and many other environmental distractions.

So, next time you train, have all your bits of food prepped and easily accessible along with a tug […]

24 Jun 2015

Training Tip – Hand Touches

One of the easiest yet most valuable behaviours we teach our dogs in foundation, and that we use throughout their lives, is the hand touch.

First, it is how we start all puppies with “learning to earn” and “shaping” as it is such a simple thing for them to figure out – you can use their meal times to earn each piece of food. It also becomes the default “please” behaviour, which is essential for creating and maintaining a great work ethic. Every time they want something, they say please with a hand touch.

It is a behaviour that happens […]

19 Feb 2015

Training Tip – Start Lines!

Start lines are a key skill in agility. A solid wait with an explosive response to a well-taught release command is vital. Once you have taught the initial behavior of a start line, training should be incorporated into your way of life. Make a list of all the places you would like a solid wait in your dog’s life. The crate door, the back door, a door way in the house, going up the stairs, coming down the stairs, the field gate, getting out of the vehicle etc etc. You don’t really need to get imaginative to come up […]

12 Feb 2015

Training Tip – What can you do in 3 minutes?

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 […]

11 Nov 2014

Training Tip – Start Lines

The key to having a solid start line in Agility is to train and proof it through the toughest of distractions. For our border collies, it’s maintaining criteria while the other dogs are blasting past them up the field or while the neighbor’s sheep are moving past. For our little terrier mix, it is the understanding of maintaining a SIT because of the reward history built into this criteria, which is far more valuable to her than chasing chickens.

Trainers that expose their dogs to this type of understanding are those that do not worry about putting their dogs in a […]

9 Oct 2014

Training Tip – A Solid Foundation Equals a Lifetime of Success!

When you have an established reinforcement structure, and all of your agility experience has been built on strong foundation skills, you may expect to have a long agility career!

Even at 8 years old, the World Cup is not out of reach, as Detox showed last month at the FCI World Championships!

Visit our Online Courses site to see the upcoming course schedule; registration for Ultimate Reinforcement begins next week.

4 Apr 2014

Training Tip – A Great Foundation Equals Great Life Skills

A GREAT FOUNDATION is not only about creating an Agility dog capable of reaching her full potential; a lot of this key training transfers across to essential life skills. Take Start Line training for example and the importance of remaining in position when asked:

If you talk to many of the best animal trainers in the world outside of agility, they will tell you that placement of reward is key in the understanding and drive required for any cued behaviour. If I want my dog to remain happily and confidently in a STAY, then rewarding him while he maintains this position […]