14 Jan 2015

Training Tip – Reinforcement

For correct reinforcement structure to be set, it is important that tugging and taking food from you are as equal in value to your dog as possible. This is necessary because different behaviours are better rewarded by either food or tugging due to placement of reward and the physiological effects triggered by each of these rewards.

One of the ways to build this equality is to always work with both food and tugging within every training session – whether you are working on start line training, or on a shaping session, or even when you have progressed to equipment training. All […]

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 […]

16 Oct 2014

Training Tip – Establishing a Solid Reinforcement Structure in a Dog’s Life Can Drastically Change Their Life for the Better

When your dog learns to really love earning rewards in the forms of playing with YOU, and tugging and food from YOU, then working for YOU becomes worthwhile and a joy for your dog.

Without having proper rewards that your dog really, really loves, then working for you just isn’t much fun.

Our goal is to have a dog that enjoys playing and working; engaging with us should be the most rewarding thing in their life!

This goal is for any age, breed, size, and history. Bee, Greg and Laura’s rescue Chi/Terrier, was a feral 3 month old puppy in April. Now in […]

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.

2 Jun 2014

Training Tip – Agility Training is 24/7

All too often, folks only train certain behaviors when they are at their training facility. Criteria can and should be rewarded in as many different environments as possible. Working in many diverse locations exposes your dog to every kind of distraction possible, and probably even distractions you never even thought to train through. This will help your dog truly understand what you expect of them when you give them their cues.

So, the next time you are taking your dogs out for a run on the beach or a walk in the forest, be prepared with rewards so that you can […]

23 May 2014

Training Tip – Let’s Play

Physically playing with your dog is an important factor in helping to create the toy drive necessary in agility. The main goal behind using tug toys in agility is the interaction between the dog and handler. Learning how to have a physical game without the use of a toy is a great stepping stone to moving on to enthusiastic and fun games of tug.

Physically playing with your dog first will help elevate their heart rate, kicking in the other physiological changes necessary for speed and drive, and will teach you both to love your unique technique of interacting with one […]

4 May 2014

Training Tip – Reward Your Recalls Daily

Your recall is one of the most important cues your dog will learn in his life. Not only is it important for general daily purpose and safety, but in an agility context, it is vital that your dog respond to his name or recall cue immediately. To keep the recall response at its strongest, you must practice it in every situation you can, and where you are prepared to highly reward your dog for responding.

We aim for at least 25 daily recalls where our dogs are rewarded for immediately responding. A fun game of tug is a great way to […]

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 […]

23 Jan 2014

Training Tip – It’s all a GAME!

Begin and Finish every training session engaging in an energetic GAME with your dog, be this tug or initially just physical play.

This routine will create a very strong association between PLAY = WORK = FOOD = WORK = PLAY = HAPPY and ENTHUSIASTIC DOG!

Class starts for our Ultimate Reinforcement course on Monday, 27 January.  Hope to see you there!