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 […]

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 […]

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!

23 Dec 2013

Training Tip – Reward Structure

What is reward structure really about? It’s being able to tell your dog he is brilliant while having fun. A key point to achieving great play is that you BOTH enjoy it. Don’t just play a token game of tug – really get into the game and be as enthusiastic as you can be. Are you both energetic, pulling hard against each other, both play-growling, while you are smiling and perhaps even laughing as you taunt him in a playful manner? Tease him with your free hand by slapping or grabbing at him, creating even more of a physical interaction. Remember, […]

10 Dec 2013

Training Tip – Why is tug such a vital tool for agility training?

To train true understanding and desire to perform behaviours, placement and rate of reward is critical. Food works well for static and stationary behaviours, but simply cannot elicit the same intense physiological responses from your dog that you can achieve with tugging. Tugging provides an opportunity to build your dog’s speed and drive, while allowing for correct placement of reward.Most importantly, the duration and intensity of reward needed for so many of the behaviours required in agility cannot be achieved with a food reward, such as when the dog is driving in hard to the handler on threadles, serpentines, […]
7 Nov 2013

Training Tip – Enjoy Your Dog to Enjoy Your Training!

Remember the reason why you have a dog in the first place… for companionship and fun. If you keep in mind that engaging with your buddy is what Agility and training are all about, you will put more into the training session and as a result, you will enjoy the interaction more. This in turn means your dog will delight in the experience which gives him a reason to try his absolute hardest for you. Too often, people get caught up in just getting through the sequence or drill without stopping to remember it’s important to reward your dog for […]