What’s Missing In Our Foundation Dog Training ?
The laws of science have taught us all how to use reinforcement to shape our dogs’ responses. As we train a dog we are actually building behaviour, like a little girl with her glue gun making crafts or . . . if you were a little girl with seven brothers that would be you building a model car with airplane glue:).
While you train your dog, you are fitting pieces together to create the desired behaviour. However, for those of us competing with our dogs just “getting behaviour” is rarely good enough, we need to have that behaviour with enthusiasm!
So if our dog’s responses are the pieces that fit together to give us behaviour . . . then our dog’s emotional state prior to and during the work is the glue that helps all the pieces come together. Lack of glue or the wrong glue and everything falls to pieces.
Your goal prior to any work session is to create the perfect glue for your own dog. By doing that you are putting your dog into a state of arousal that will produce his “peak performance” every time you train. This has nothing to do with competing (although it is excellent advise for those of you that do trial your dogs) it is about bringing an alert, focused, keen dog into each and every training session with you.
If your dog is under-aroused he is going to be distracted by otherwise insignificant things in your environment. Here is where people lament to me “my dog doesn’t like to work in the heat,” or “he doesn’t like wet grass” or “tall people scare him” or “barking dogs make him run away . . .” or my dog “just loves to go sniffing,” or “chases birds” or “eat horse poop.”
Have you ever considered why your dog even notices the heat, wet grass, birds, poop, other dogs or smells while other dogs working in the same environment don’t seem to notice anything except their trainer and the work?
Think About THIS . . .
Would your dog notice any of these “big” distractions if you were in the act of lowering a heaping plate of roast beef down to him? Or bouncing around his favorite tennis ball to chase, or if a squirrel ran by? Of course he wouldn’t because his favorite food, toys or rodents running by will put him into a higher state of arousal. One where the environment no longer matters to him, he has unbelievable focus and drive for something else so can ignore any kind of condition or distraction to get at what you have for him.
The Question To Consider
The question now is how do you get THAT focus and desire in your training? The answer lies within your glue. Each dog will have a unique mix of glue to suit his unique drives and desires. So, what is the glue that is going to bond all of the behaviours together for YOUR dog?
This is a critical question for everyone trying to train a dog and one I am currently writing about for a series in my newsletter. I sent out an announcement earlier this week to all of my newsletter subscribers. You see I plan on rolling out my biggest on-line dog training project to date at the end of this month. This one has been in the works for two years. It is pretty well an all inclusive course for training your dog’s contacts for agility. “The 5 Minute Formula To Contact Success” will cover: foundation games, body awareness exercises, up contact training, a “quick fix” formulation to overhaul your current contacts f-a-s-t, plus a detailed step-by-step instruction of how I train my stopped contact training and yes . . . I will even spill the beans on the foundation training for my new running contact training.
I Have Some Ideas For You
While planning out this upcoming mega-course, I had to think what would be the biggest stumbling block to my students’ success? Well assuming everyone follows through with the work, I think the biggest obstacle in the way of success would be starting out with a dog that has little interest in engaging in the work or with his handler. It is that “D” word. Twenty years or more ago I came up with an acronym for my students “D.A.S.H” (desire, accuracy, speed & habitat). The DASH acronym is as relevant today as it ever was; you have to get the dog’s “D” or desire up prior to trying to teach the dog any part of the “A” or accuracy of a behaviour. Training a dog that lacks “D” is going to be a battle of frustration and futility for anyone.
When I say “a dog that lacks D” most people immediately think of a low drive, frightened, lethargic dog that has little drive for training. But the lack of “D” can also go the other way. You may have a high drive, super keen dog that has tons of “D” but rather than it being directed at you or your work his focus is directed at the first shiny thing that catches his eye; other dogs, birds, people, smells, you name it!
Either way, trying to train a dog that lacks “D” is a bit like herding cats and I wouldn’t wish that job on anyone, let alone students I want to help with their contacts! So before I roll out my new course I really want to help people to create desire and focus in the correct direction; towards you and the work you are attempting.
All of this starts tomorrow as I send out the first foundation newsletter for improving your dog’s “D” to work with you. If you are not one of my newsletter subscribers you can join by filling in the form on this blog, you will find it on the right hand side or below. Please note, you may have to tell your internet provide to “allow” emails from customerhappiness AT clickerdogs DOT com (written like a true email address “[email protected]). If you have specific struggles you would like us to consider in our series, please let me know about them here. ** We did have an issue with the newsletter that went out earlier this week, so if you didn’t get yours, just try to sign up once again — that is the best way to know if you are on our list or not.
Today I am grateful for Lynda OH, who took a two month leave of absence from her job with the government so she could come to work full time for us here at Say Yes . . . next step in my plot is to somehow make this a permanent thing:)
Newsletter… Susan when you send out the newsletter, would you post notice here? I added the email address to safe senders, but still not sure if I am getting the newsletter.
Hey Nancy, sorry, this is an exclusive series set up just for my newsletter subscribers (of course anyone can be a newsletter subscriber). The thing is that some servers may label the newsletter address as spam and not allow it to come to you. You can contact your server and be sure to “allow” emails from sayyesnews AT aweber DOT com (of course written like a proper email address [email protected] If this doesn’t work what many people have done is create another email address with gmail.com or yahoo.com as our newsletter can be delivered to those addresses without an issue.
We newsletter subscribers just want to know if we should have received it by now. In the past I have regularly received e-mails at both of the e-mail addresses I have used to subscribe to the newsletter. This time I got the second one, but not the first. And they are not in my spam folders. This time there seems to be a problem at your end, and rather than having all of us writing in to ask whether it has been sent yet I think Nancy was just hoping you could post that “yes, it has been sent” or “no, it hasn’t been sent yet” so those of who have yet to receive it will know whether to inundate you with e-mails.
I added that address and I DID recieve the Newsletter. THANKS!!! This series is going to help us!
I have a 4 yr. old high drive Sheltie. who seems to be nuts about agility. We have finally gotten a 99% stay at the startline, but after a certain number of obstacles he runs past jumps and/or loses touch with me and runs around the course (without taking obstacles). He will down when told (most the time), but once he’s lost focus I can’t get him refocused, or if I do, he will repeat it again after a couple obstacles. He at times, will also just jump up at the stanchions or at the up end of the seesaw. So, perhaps he is a high drive, keen dog that needs more desire? Don’t know. Very frustrating though. Hope to hear something great to help fix this! Thanks, Nadine
One of the struggles I had with Recallers is that it really is based on a foundation of Create Games, nose touches, and the other foundation games. Without these things in place, one really couldn’t participate in the course. I am *still* working on these foundations and haven’t gotten to enjoy Recallers as much as I would have liked.
For your new course, if there are “foundation games” that are required to do meat of the course content, then it would be wonderful to know about that ASAP so we can be working on them.
The challenge that I have to figure out is how to maintain that D when walking into an obedience ring, with no food or toy on me, with a judge who takes their time getting started. I just wanna run in there and GOOOOOOO so I can keep that momentum up! Recently, my dog told me that the value was in being with me *when I have food on my body*. After probably 2 years of what I thought was building value for working with me, I was inadvertently building value for working with me when there is food on me or a toy on the floor nearby. It’s not like there is no value when it’s just me, but the spark/joy that I love to see just isn’t there in that scenario. I’m trying to figure out what pieces of the puzzle we missed in trying to transfer the value. One of them I know is more play with me where no toys are involved. I need to work on more recallers games without food or tug rewards. e.g. she loves PB&J just for the sake of doing it, no food or tug needed to get her going with that one. Need to get more of the games to that point.
Where are we with “the D word”?
We have done Recallers 2.0 and are in the IC for 3.0 and the average has improved leaps and bounds 🙂 But we are not there yet. I have a 3 yr old BC that I have had since he was a pup. I could make a million excuses – he likes to sniff/eat horse poop and we train in a riding arena, he is a social butterfly that LOVES people and dogs…however I have recently decided to shoulder ALL of the responsibilty. I have been inconsistent with expectations and also may be judging our average or better according to the “average border collie” or worse – Susan’s border collies 🙂 I am THRILLED that you are addressing this topic (again). Thank you thank you thank you
Sharon…Although we should never compare our dogs to others, I know I have in the past, there is no reason why they can’t be as good or better than Susan’s border collies. Some of us are not natural dog trainers and have to work sometimes 10 times harder to get what comes naturally to others, but with the tools we are purchasing from Susan through recallers, puppy peaks, etc, we are on the right path. So don’t compare your dogs to other dogs and don’t compare yourself to other dog trainers. It may take some of us longer to get there, but if we want to, we can all end up with the same result.
Just a quick addition. Something that really stuck with me was Linda talking about Ruby and her lack of joy. While I used to think that “punishment” was physical my boy has shown me that it can be even the slightest hint of disappointment that sucks the joy out of the game.
Poppie and I have drive – but its so dependent on my own drive!!I am aware that I have been inconsistnet with being clear to Pops when its training time verses free time. Sometimes things just merge, as I try to be spontaneous.. but I allow Pops to finish and carry on with her own thing at the end. Mostly I say Go play, knowing full well, that actually she would have gone anyway…. however sometimes I have that look on my face – that Pops knows I am up to something and another game is about to commence – and she hangs around my feet until I play it.. which isn’t necessarily good if its hide n seek I have in mind.
Rather than being grey I need to be more clear that its black and white – and I need to make sure the free time – is also free time I have allowed. Being a carefree person who likes to just flow… I do struggle with the most simple of things at times!
Very interested in what you have to say – as maybe us having a routine will help us to define our sessions and therefore increase both Pops & my own drive!
Looking forward to hearing more on the course & hoping I can afford it (will they be they be a payment instalment option?) :)) as we don’t want to miss out on the fun!!
This is EXACTLY what I need! I just began training a rescue dog with TONS of enthusiam and D, but it’s usually directed anywhere but towards me. This has been especially hard switching gears since my other dog’s personality leads her to naturally focus on me. I’ve been struggling with finding a successful “glue” to bring the focus back to me – I can’t wait for the newsletter and more info about the class! 🙂
Glue… I think this belongs in the critical core! For me this is like learning to drive a car? You can read and watch how to do it, but when you get behind the wheel it is static. Step by step thought. Put key in, foot on pedal, turn key etc. it takes quite a bit of practice before it becomes dynamic and you don’t think about it and just do it.
Dog training with glue needs to be fluid. I think a few lessons on mixing and applying glue will be extremely helpful as it really Is a critical element! Other wise it is like jumping in that car without knowing how to stop and bypassing the seatbelt!
I’m struggling with impulse control and “D” training at the same time. My 9 month old BC has tons of both, I just can’t get the 2 together. For instance, when I throw a toy for reward he drives towards it and then starts to drive back to me. When he gets a few feet from me, he slows down and approaches thoughtfully. He either goes into RZ and waits for reward or thinks we’re playing “bring me” where he gives me the toy, for which he got rewarded for. I can then get him to re-engage with the toy and me for a great game of tug, but how do I get him driving into me with the toy waiting for me to grab it to tug? Have I played too many impulse control games? I hope this will be addressed.
I haven’t gotten any newsletters for a while, and I am subscribed. I definitely want to hear more about how I can improve the “D” word. I’ve got a two-year-old who is one smart cookie, but is easily distracted into her own missions. I want to persuade her to use her powers for Good.
Where am I at with being the cookie?
It’s a bit H specific at the moment. Great in some places and contexts and a bit intermittant in others. But compared to my first 14 months with Frosty – hugely better. I can catch her now without resorting to help or tricks. And we don’t stop in the middle of training runs to sniff possum poo, though we’re happy to do that between runs.
So I’m trying to find the balance between re-inforcement from the environment, and from me. I want my re-inforcement to be more valuable to her and not taken for granted. And that means not rewarding the crap… and taking the risk on that. The tiny voice in my head says – if you don’t reward every time with a treat, she won’t come back next time or will be less enthusiastic but in practice – the opposite is true. So I just need to remember my own focus as well as developping my dog’s.
I have a usually very focused 4 year old poodle. We train agility and run competitions.
Only time he really looses focus is if I place his ball (his best reward) at the end of a course and we have to pass it on our way through – then he would often run out before we finish the course and take his reward – instead of focusing on my signals.
Thank you Susan this is great.I think it is important to periodically work on the dogs foundation basics.I have discovered that when things go wrong with my dogs training it was often a consequence due to something lacking in the foundation skills area.
I would then have to go back and check with your book ” Shaping Success”.For me this is my training “bible”.
Without “drive”in a dog it is difficult to achieve a desired behaviour.
So when I train in the “drive” component I also have to work on the “control” aspect too.
To achieve this I have to identify what is of high value to my dogs and I score it from 1 to 10.( toys,food,games and life rewards such as a swim or a great bush walk)
This seems to help give me the tools to get my dogs undivided attention.
I like to end the dogs training session just before “peak” performance level.That leaves them wanting more…they go nuts and that equates to more drive and enthusisum for the next session.
The other magic tool is “Crate Games”.Just can’t get enough of this( my dogs love it) and it will never go out of fashion.Just has so many applications
to training and behaviour ( ingenious).
I still have difficulty digesting all this learning and need contant repetition.
I want to thank you Susan for sharing your knowledge, and most of all teaching me how to have a good relationship with my dog.
I now don’t care about winning a competition.I just want to accomplish small goals and accomplishing them is winning.
I think my problem is similar to Mel’s. I find it hard to differentiate between focus issues, dominance/authority/fear and dog-to-dog aggression. I cannot read my young dog (GWP) well enough, and am afraid he might hurt another dog one day.
When training agility, my dog can appear truly focused on m: he is enjoying the work (having the ‘D’) and finding my rewards worthwhile. Yet he may snap out of it and start staring at a ringside dog or even charge at him.This makes me feel tense which definitely is not making it easier to bond with my dog, let alone practice agility handling moves.
Working with this problem is difficult as it only appears on agility field when he’s very aroused.Wven when hunting game bird, he’s more “manageable” and oblivious to other dogd. I have almost given up on positive training am am considering setting him up for a scare if he chooses to charge at another dog in between agility training. I would love to be able to balance his drive and focus using positive methods.
Like you I often find it hard to teach especailly when I teach SAR. We get all the excuses instead of the chance to work on what should be really worked at. I also find it hard to show the tiny successes to people and teach that sometimes it needs time and as Morgan Spencer put it- the three Rs rerun, rerun, rerun and not oh he has done this once he now knows.
The transfer of value I find easy with some dogs but harder with others (like my old dogs in comparison to my young dogs). I very much enjoy to learn what you do and also get more awareness what I once did with my oldies watching puppy peakes and recallers.
I am looking forward reading more.
really looking forward to this as my boy high on “D” but not on me
Most of the time, I am happy with the level of desire I have in my 3 yr old lab, however I seem to lose connection with her if I try to make her work through problems. I find I want to give into to her frustrations in order to maintain her desire to work and stay engaged with me. How do you decide how hard to push them and what do you look for as signs that things are moving in the wrong direction.
Thanks to Recaller’s, Zoe’s focus on me is much improved. She does still notice some distractions (ie the garbage truck pulling up) but she is easily re-focused on me with a hand-clap or our “touch”signal.
We have backslid a little as I had to restart chemo and have quite a bit of fatigue due to low blood counts. A lot of the games from recallers we had to put on hold (anything involving turning or running–no more cookies in the corner which she LOVES) as I get dizzy or out of breath. She has a great stay though so I can send her out, tell her to stay and release her to come in like a “pocket-rocket” to a hand touch, or a sit in the RZ.
We still do not have a tug except at home (very soft mouth, wont bite down solidly, my fault when she was a pup that what I wanted, and didn’t know about the value of tug) At class and agility meets we do tricks while waiting our turn and this seems to help her stay focused on me and ready for action.
We do running contacts, would love to do your next class, but bad timing, hopefully it will go great and there will be enough demand for another one 🙂
Thank you so much Susan for sharing in your blogs. It is so much appreciated. Zoe and I already had a great relationship, but it is even closer since we have been playing the games and learning together.
Hope you get your strength back real soon.
I have a 2 year old Aussie, we are just starting to trial. My problem is getting her to show some of her speed on the course. We can do clean runs, but don’t make time. Yet just watch her go after a squirrel! And I know she loves the sport, she just runs down to the practice area, and has a hard time keeping still at the start line. Help! I’m hoping this new info will help me jump start my buddy.
I have 2 agility dogs… a later in life agility nut Border Collie named Ashenpaw, and my work-in-progress Rough Collie named Ion.
Though he was mine since 8 weeks old, Ash started performance training at age 5 years old and is now 8 years old. I am fortunate to have a BC with an on and off switch. When we train that switch is instantly snicked on! That ‘light on the toes, bright eyed, dancing boy’ just hops to the start line and is right out there burning up the practice runs. The bond between us is very deep and he will do anything for me, I just have to cue it right. Treats to him are just bonus–he WANTS to run with me, period. That motion is his motivation.
Ion has been with me since 8 weeks old as well, he is only 19months now and is the first dog I have trained since puppyhood for performance. With a bold personality, he is driven to move and shake’em… however… uhh, yeah, we have a ‘shiney’ issue. Most of his practice sessions he is focused on me and ready to rock and roll. He can be motivated by treats and verbal praise (he hates to be wrong, so a simple verbal ‘uh oh’ marker is enough information to help him figure out a glitch like popping a weave pole). Sometimes in practice Ion will spy that cute, fun to play with Wheaton Terrier and romp over to say hello. So, yes, we loose that burning Desire to run with mom to try and run with cutie-pants. I am working on trying to be more proactive and catch his flagging attention sooner so this doesn’t happen. In that same boat we’re currently reworking a serious contact issue: Ion recently developed a fear of the dog walk due to his mad dashes across it leading to falling off. Though he was not injured, his confidence here was seriously shattered. It was to the point where he locked claws on it and refused to budge or eat his favorite treat. We’re now working on getting him to slow down on practice equipment and pay attention to his rear feet more.
Once we can get him to ease up a bit, he should be back to his bold natured self. He has awesome movement and collection, when the Desire and focus are engaged his smooth running is beautiful to watch. In fact, that’s one of my pitfalls in class–I am called an ‘observer’ because I watch him ‘too’ much.
I love that feeling when I have the synch just right and we’re moving together. It’s like a very aerobic version of Tai Chi with a dog reacting to the forces we apply. 🙂
I have an almost 3 year old that started from a puppy with an instructor who trains the Say Yes methods, crated games, recall games, shaping, etc. Used the 2×2 method and she was doing 12 poles in 3 weeks, with awesome entries. Seemed like we were doing great.
The second time she came into season, everything changed. Got her spayed as soon as I could (she was almost 2). The attitude got somewhat better, but was never the same. Continued training and eventually started to trial. Her first several trials went well. But at some point, she started having La La moments in the ring. We could get through only a couple of obstacles and then it would hit, she dropped down to a trot, picked up her head and would go visit a jump setter, trot around an obstacle, go by the weaves, etc.
Stopped trialing her and worked on the relationship. When tried to trial again, we still had problems. She visits less, generally, and sometimes she speeds through the course, but is not really engaged with me and does her own thing. She can do great things in training, it seems like I have to have the toy with me to keep that going. I have failed to transfer the value to agility.
I am beside myself with this girl. Desperate for a way to build that desire for me in all situations and still have it when we are in the ring.
My 4 mo old Brittany pup works great in front of his “sisters,” but get him in a room with the two of us, and he’s very distracted. I need to increase my value and decrease the other dogs. Can’t wait for the start of this newsletter series!
I’m looking forward to develop “super” glue to over ride my BC pup’s instinct for motion.
Love the title!! SO true. Look forward to the series.
I need the glue that will help me get my drivey but sensitive pup stay connected and work with me in environments that are common but where I lose her to…. almost when she decides she is bored…. I am only the cheese in new environments, not old with lots of distractions….. I would have expected the problem to be the opposite!
Susan, I am excited beyond words that the online contact course is forth coming. My Sheltie Bounce (just turned 10 months old) and I have been through Recallers 2 and 3 and followed you and Swagger through Puppy Peaks. All of the previous plus crate games and your One Jump DVD have built a great amount of the good kind of D in my boy and we can’t wait to use it to train super contacts! WOW LOH as a full timer at Say Yes would be the icing on the cake.
I’m really looking forward to this. I am always struggling to get consistent focus and drive to work with me from Risa. I’m always looking for something new to try to increase her attention on me.
I have four dogs. The two I worked with on Recallers, the lame Rotti mix and the puppy – Temperance. Interestingly enough, the Rotti and the puppy have the most “D”. The pup has been raised ala “Swagger” and “recallers” and her attention to work is about 80%. The Rotti just love love loves to work, she always has and will work equally well for food, for tuggers or for scritches and hugs. I would say her “D” is probably 85% as things outside the yard will still get her attention and call her away from work.
The BC will work for 15 minutes and quit. When he’s working he’s total 100% of engagement, excitement, my Mr. Prancy Man who will do anything and learns really fast. But after 15 minutes he shutsdown and I don’t know what to do – so I just work him at 5 minutes and stop, never more.
The boxer mix, she sits and stares at me. It is really hard to get her to offer behaviors in order to do any shaping. I can lure her into nearly any behavior but she never “loves” doing things if the treats aren’t in view. She also shies away from a lot of obstacles in the yard, but if I take her out to do Urban Agility, she’s a champ. She’ll go up the ladder and down the slide for 30 minutes if I let her, she’ll jump fences, climb rocks, scales walls and go through trees. Weird.
I have a 2 year old sheltie and he has the drive and I have done alot of stuff crate games, recallers 2 x 2 ‘s etc. the only time I lose him is if at class when the next class starts to come in he stresses and freezes and wont move he looks at me but his ears go back and he won’t move I usually have to go back to him and I have a saying I use to get him worked up it is “I’m going to get your butt” and he will move but not as fast as he can ,if he is not stressed and I say it he goes bonkers , I am getting him out in different places but only certain things seems to do this to him so I never know when he is going to do it ,any ideas on working through this ?
I also did not get the first e-mail and I have been on the list for several years. I’m glad you’re going to address this topic. I sometimes have trouble getting my dog to play with me. When she does, prior to going into the ring, I get great attention and it’s a pleasure to work with her. When she won’t play it’s a real chore to train/trial because she’s not in “the zone” with me! I’d love to be able to get to the same attention she gives me all the time, not just when she feels like it!
I walk my dog every morning before I go to work so he will burn off some energy. This is usually a 30-45 minute walk. I intersperse some training with the walking, but he loses focus when I am not doing recalls, or downs, or tug games, etc. When training, he is very enthusiastic. Should I change to training for 30-45 minutes before work instead of a walk? That seems like too long. What to do? Thanks for the help.
I have three dogs. All enjoy being trained and two have high energy levels. I want what you have with your dogs. I do believe without engagement you can’t train very well. they are engaged with me, but one of my dogs is a very sensitive dog and wants to please so much, if she is unsure or just learning something, she is very slow, it is almost like she creeps along. Once she gets it she does much better. I want my pups to love what they do, and to have great joy in doing it. I need to learn from you. I am so glad you are offering this on your newsletter, I, unfortunately do not have the money to take one of your courses personally, though I have your books and video. I want fun games to play with my dogs that build skills and you have that. Thank you Susan. I have 3 mixed terriers, all rescues and I did not get them until they were a year old. I want them to reach their full dog potential and enjoy their lives. They are great dogs and are doing well I want to build on that foundation.
I hope to enter them in Rally Obedience(Bindi) and whatever they excel in.
I have one dog that is glued to her frisbee. And one dog that does awesome at home. But at a trial will shut down, sniffing mostly and refusing to do obstacles. She will stand at the top of the a-frame and not come down.
I have a 2yr old heading dog that is very motion sensitive and has a high energy level with an attention span of nanoseconds. He is a real challenge to train although he is clever. When he is focused he works well. But at training or in the ring it is if he has got a lose connection -one minute he is with me and the next minute he has been distracted by a bird, person, dog or or… and he is disappearing into the distance. He is improving but it is a very slow process with many back steps. I have worked hard to try and build drive but I appear to be missing a piece some where. It is hard to remain positive so I am looking forward to some good ideas in these newsletters on how to fix what I am currently doing.
Looking forward to it and passing on your blog link to friends.
Repetition leads to retention….some of us need to hear it a few times and often with a difference flavor in order for it to sink in!
Oh boy, I can’t wait — both for the newsletter series and the course. Recallers & Puppy Peaks have worked magic in the last year. But as my boy leaves puppyhood, I see new challenges ahead as we amp up the expectations and deal with more drive and distractions. Making sure I never lose sight of the Desire as we work towards more specific tasks is my huge goal and I can’t wait to see all the ways you have to help us do it.
Susan this is such a great blog post and really hits on some issues I’ve been dealing with.
I’m wondering, so for reactive dogs where you need to calm them and work below their threshold — and then also working to get their arousal up so you have that glue, how do you balance that?
This is something I really need to figure out in my training.
I need to be successful in keeping reactivity low while keeping arousal at peak. I have no idea how to do this.
Will your new course hit on this balance?
Thank you for all you do!
Susan, what is your feeling about Dachshunds in agility? To date I have not accepted them in my agility classes.
Have been working with your 2X2 weave pole video and am having trouble keeping my dog from coming back through the poles. Unfortunately I corrected her for doing this and am having to start over. HELP!
My dog has great contacts when on AKC equipment but we run mostly NADAC. We don’t get a chance to train on NADAC equipment only AKC. Have issues with jumping off of NADAC what can I do to help with this short of buying all my own equipment which I would have no place to set up or store.
After having participated in Recallers 3 Cocoa my miniature poodle and I have developed some of that glue. He is much more attentive to me, but I still am apt to lose his focus when certain distractions appear. Some of this glue would certainly help.
I find that I need to go back to crate games and that does help with the drive/control balance.
Recipes for GLUE, now that’s the ticket! Hope this is a mini course on discovering the ingredients for you and your dog. Mixing… baking… etc. Sounds like the perfect way to cook up some FUN!
Susan, please address the ReDo as well as the Starting Out Right.
I have a dog that can be focused, or be completely absorbed in her own world of sights, smells, and important errands. Sometimes I can cue engagement in response to food or (increasingly thanks to Recallers 3.0) a tug toy that is linked to food. In Utility, the 15 minutes of engagement was way harder than any required exercise.
Sometimes I’m just not the cheese.
If I had a do-over, I would try harder to be the cookie all the time not just in training (sound like Ruff Love?) and have created different patterns of interaction that do not include “disconnect at will.”
So my missing glue is definitely focus and especially focus for more than a few minutes. I have some ideas, but if you will address the ReDo as well as the Starting Out Right I would be eternally grateful.
I have a BC, who is doesn’t have the “typical” BC drive for toys/balls except for this one hard ball I have that is about the size of a bowling ball. He goes crazy over it, barks, paws at it, chases it. I say it is the only thing that brings the “border collie” out of him. I would call this some good glue. I have used it, running courses, holding it in my arm and even switching arms when I do front crosses. AND he runs terrific! But this is obviously not ideal, and can’t take it to a trial. Without it – he finds the next shiny object, and in trials even shuts down. So how do I transfer that desire I get from him when I DO have the ball, to when I don’t have it?
Cannot wait for your gems of advice Susan. My challenge is for me to be confident and build drive in my dog, not make excuses for him. We have come a long way but there’s more fun in him I’m yet to unleash. Sniffing is his worst stress behaviour.
And for me, trying to wean myself off using A+ food for everything. And DWDH: recognising them instead of labelling everything DWDH and also how to deal with them.
I have a mini dachshund that has started to stop working and just look at me. I am trying to get him to tug but that is a struggle at school. Tugging at home has improved. At school he does not run off but is not working either. I need the glue. I am looking forward to what you have to say.
Have made considerable progress with Darcy, 2 year old Bichon, through Puppy Peaks, & Recallers 2 & 3. Now comes the but — I don’t feel like I am usually the cookie unless I have the alluring odor of food on my person. Even then, there are other things, mostly people, who are more interesting than I. He’s getting better at tugging but only in the house. He loves to do “tricks” with the balance discs, etc. Recall in the house is about 93% even without food, although I am still giving cookies very frequently or tug sessions. Looking forward to adding the glue.
My youngster has plenty of “D” whereas my previous dogs haven’t. It isn’t that he is special or that I was just lucky this time, it is that I raised him the Say Yes way from 8 weeks of age on. Crate Games, Recaller games and everything Shaping has resulted in a dog who is completely focused on me and works with bright eyes and wagging tail no matter what we are doing. So rewarding for me to have such a willing and happy teammate 🙂
LOH working for you full time! How could she turn that down! 😉