TRAINING TIPS

This page is full of ideas to keep improving and practicing what you learn during Lessons

Winter Fun

Not all of us have an indoor facility where we can train. So here are a few fun ways to keep your skills tuned and improve over the cold long winter months. (NOTE: This game should not be played if the conditions are icy)

GO AROUND

This is a fun game to play all year round. Find a tree in your backyard or in a park. Send your dog around it using the command around. 

  1. Send your dog around the tree with your right arm - saying "Go Around"

  2. When your dog does, pivot so that you are turned away from the tree and reward with your right hand. Do this a few times.

  3. Once your dog knows what you want start adding some fun and speed. When your dog comes around run in the opposite direction fast - use his or her favourite toy and let them catch and play tug.

  4. Make sure that you are doing this from both sides - left and right.

  5. You can add more trees to the game if you have them!

  6. You should also start adding more distance between you and the tree. See how far away you can send your dog from.

  7. Most importantly have fun!

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

This is a great game to keep you and your dog in shape. Do this at the park or in your backyard.

  1. Using your dog's favourite toy (preferably something they can tug on), put your dog in a sit-stay or have someone hold your dog. 

  2. Move about 20 or 30 feet away from your dog

  3. With your back turned and your left or right arm stretched way out behind you, start running as fast as you can until your dog catches you. 

  4. Reward by letting them grab the toy in your hand and tugging with you.

  5. Keep repeating this using each hand.

  6. Remember you need to keep your hand stretched behind you the whole time - and keep your eye on your pup.

  7. To add training to the fun, as you are running switch hands and see if your dog changes direction moving to the side of your body with the toy. This is an important skill when running agility courses and patterns.

  8. Have fun!!

STAY no matter what

You can play this game inside or out. Stay is one of the most important foundations in agility. Your startline stay can save you if you have a fast dog. Remember, you always need to be in front of your dog when you are running a course or performing a sequence.  There are two important elements in teaching the stay command - time and distance. You can only work on one at a time\.

  1. First, start working on time. Stand in front of your dog and motion with your hand (flat hand brushes across without touching your dog's nose as you say "Stay". 

  2. Take one step back and wait 15-20 seconds. Repeat this several times without your dog moving. Step forward and reward saying "Good Stay". Gradually keep adding 20-30 seconds.

  3. Now you are ready to start adding distance. Take 3 steps back and say Stay - count for 20-30 seconds and move back and reward. Don't wait for your dog to move - this is about success. If your dog moves go back and do NOT reward.

  4. Introduce your release command - Okay, Release, and come and treat your dog with your back to them. 

  5. Keep adding distance and time. Then add distractions - wave your arms in the air, jump up and down - make sure your dog keeps staying until you give the release command

  6. Keep this up until you can move 20 or 30 feet away. You should be able to walk away, run away, dart in different directions the whole time your dog is focused on you and staying in position.

Have Fun and Good Luck!