exercise should be broken down into mini exercises and
worked separately until the dog performs each one well,
then you are ready to put it all together.
instance, never add a front finish too your recall
exercise, until the dog fully understands a front and a
finish. Be sure to do lots of motivational recalls without
fronts to keep speed in the recall.
analyze the retrieve on the flat from the open level as an
example. The dog goes out smartly, does a nice pick up,
comes back smartly, but does a poor front. Your first
reaction will probably be to correct the front. What about
the rest of the exercise that the dog did so well?
dog doesnít know which part of the exercise displeased
you. He is probably thinking, I ran out and picked up the
dumbbell as fast as I could and brought it back so why is
he/she annoyed with me?
your dog ever gone out to the dumbbell and stood there
looking at you, or picked it up and seemed confused as to
what to do next? There may very well be a reason for this
behavior, a problem created by you the handler.
I think of this particular exercise, 7 mini exercises come
The wait until handler sends the dog upon judges
2. Go smartly to the dumbbell.
3. A nice fast pickup.
4. Return smartly to handler with dumbbell
5. A front.
6. Release dumbbell to handler on command without
each mini exercise is worked, the dog can be praised or
corrected accordingly. If my dog did this exercise well,
but when coming in to front, it looked like it was going
to be crooked, I would break off the exercise before the
dog sat, and praise for a job well done. Then work fronts
with dumbbell in the mouth separately.
had a call recently from a lady I met in Niagara Falls at
the Rainbow Classic in 1991. She also trains Shih Tzu and
we have kept in touch since that time.
is training one of her dogs for Canadian utility. She
lives in the United States and some of their utility
exercises are quite different from ours. She was having a
problem with the seek back exercise so she called me for
help. I asked her what she was doing. She said she heels
around with the dog and drops the glove, but the dog
doesnít look for it and doesnít seem to understand
what he is supposed to do.
she should start by teaching the dog to hold the glove in
its mouth. The next step is to toss the glove and have the
dog retrieve it. Just because the dog knows how to
retrieve a dumbbell, doesnít mean he knows how to
retrieve a glove. If the dog is retrieving the glove from
a toss with no problems, have someone put the glove 8 to
10 feet in front of the dog and when heís not looking,
then send the dog. If he doesnít know what to do, show
him by walking out with him and showing him the glove.
When you are ready to put some heeling to this exercise,
drop the glove a few feet from the point which you will be
sending the dog. Gradually start to drop it farther from
the sending point, then in the corners and close to the
jumps. Donít forget to practice some fronts with the
glove in the dogs mouth.
when teaching an exercise, break it down into mini
exercises. If you are having a problem after you put the
whole exercise together, donít be afraid to go back and
work the mini exercises separately.