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 […]

21 Mar 2014

Training Tip – Foundation Cues

The two most commonly used cues throughout agility handling are the shoulder rotation cue taught with circle work, and an acceleration cue taught with flat work. Both cues are first taught away from the equipment.

Just because your dog may run fast does not mean he understands an acceleration cue. True understanding of acceleration means when you give the cue, your dog will extend his stride, and in most cases will run ahead of you with his head forward on the line you are cuing. The most used cue for acceleration is… running!

Putting effort into teaching and gaining true understanding of […]

28 Feb 2014

Training Tip – Take a Break!

If you ever find that you and your dog are having some confusion on handling, take a break away from the equipment and revisit the foundation skill that taught the handling cue in the first place. Here you can not only evaluate where the confusion may stem from, but you can also break down the individual steps and highly reward your dog, building up the understanding once again.

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!

11 Jan 2014

Course Announcement: Ultimate Reinforcement

Winter is the perfect opportunity to take some time off from agility training to evaluate and work on your reinforcement structure. This is a vital element of your training to ensure the money you have for your dogs is still regarded as the highest value in their lives. Whether you are bringing in a new puppy, or you feel like your relationship with your older dog is missing something, it’s never a bad idea to periodically take some time to re-establish your relationship and reward structure.

I take this time of year to give my dogs a break, and to analyse […]