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 […]

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 […]

22 Jan 2015

Training Tip – Surprise Rewards

A fun game while out with your buddy is to find new and interesting things to play with in the immediate environment. Here I am at the beach, rewarding Bee for a great recall with a piece of seaweed – the texture, taste, smell, and the way it moved, made for an intensely different and fun interaction!

The primary benefit of developing a solid reward base is that your dog understands that in all environments, and during any circumstances, what you have to offer is better than any environmental factor. Being prepared with treats and a toy to play tug […]

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 […]

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 […]