Dog Training Tips Things I Ve Learned About Agility Dog Training

Dog Training Tips Things I Ve Learned About Agility Dog Training

I've owned many dogs,​ throughout my life,​ but have never known exactly how to​ train them properly. I based my training on​ punishment and just couldn't figure out why that didn't work that well. But,​ almost two years ago,​ I started training my Papillon for agility competition. She was extremely high-drive and I knew she'd really love it. So,​ I found a​ good agility training school and off we went. We've been competing,​ very successfully,​ for almost a​ year now and,​ looking back,​ I learned so many important things about dog training!

First of​ all,​ most trainers require that dogs have completed at​ least a​ basic obedience class before proceeding to​ agility training. This is​ critical to​ agility training and,​ in​ my opinion,​ every dog and handler could benefit from a​ basic obedience class. I learned that I have a​ food-motivated dog and that she will work her heart out for highly prized treats,​ not for punishment! There are skills you​ and your dog will learn,​ through an​ obedience class,​ such as​ recalls,​ sit/stays,​ down/stays,​ and walking nicely on​ a​ leash. Each of​ these skills is​ something you​ will need every time you​ compete,​ not to​ mention day-to-day life with your dog.

The pace of​ your training will always be set by your dog. Each dog learns at​ a​ different speed and,​ what comes easily for one dog,​ may not come easily for another. So,​ be very patient while training your dog any skill. Make it​ a​ game. Let your dog take as​ much time as​ it​ needs,​ without getting impatient or​ frustrated,​ to​ figure out what behavior you​ want from it.

All tasks must be broken down into small pieces,​ whether the​ task is​ a​ simple sit,​ the​ beginnings of​ obstacle training,​ or​ more complex tricks or​ agility sequences. if​ you​ break the​ task down to​ something small,​ then mark/reward and repeat,​ several times before making the​ task larger,​ you​ will have success without stressing the​ dog out. For example,​ when training an​ agility tunnel,​ you​ scrunch it​ up to​ its smallest form. Have someone place your dog at​ the​ entrance while you​ sit on​ the​ ground at​ the​ exit,​ with a​ treat,​ and call your dog. as​ soon as​ the​ dog comes through that little piece of​ a​ tunnel,​ you​ mark/reward. Slowly begin expanding the​ tunnel using the​ same technique. in​ just a​ few minutes,​ you'll have your dog going through however long a​ tunnel you​ need.

For agility training,​ once the​ dog begins obstacle training,​ there is​ never a​ wrong answer. Dogs get confused,​ and may shut down,​ if​ they start being told they're doing the​ wrong thing,​ so keep the​ training light and never scold for doing the​ incorrect thing. if​ the​ dog doesn't do what you​ want it​ to,​ you​ simply do not mark/reward for that action. you​ just ask again and,​ the​ minute you​ get the​ correct response,​ mark/reward and make a​ huge deal of​ it. That will make your dog more anxious to​ give you​ that same answer again. as​ you​ start competing,​ you​ might want to​ use a​ particular word to​ indicate the​ incorrect response,​ such as​ "uh oh,​" or​ "oops,​" but not with a​ scolding tone. This will indicate that the​ dog will be asked to​ try again but everything is​ fine between the​ two of​ you.

Lastly,​ always keep the​ training fun for both you​ and your dog. Even when you​ start competing,​ or​ have been competing for a​ long time,​ this is​ critical. if​ you​ start getting caught up in​ the​ competition and title-winning,​ you​ might forget why you​ started agility to​ begin with: because it's fun! When the​ game stops being fun,​ your dog won't enjoy it​ anymore and neither will you. Agility is​ a​ wonderful sport and will forever secure the​ relationship between you​ and your dog. Run fast,​ run clean,​ and,​ above all,​ have fun!

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