How your dog enters the ring can tell you a lot about how the run will go. The rewards are gone, the distractions are front and center, and you’re feeling nervous about how this will all play out. Without a well-rehearsed routine, it can feel like you’re never sure what dog you’re going to have upon entering the ring. Will they be fast? Will they hold their startline? Will they stay with me on the course? These are all questions we can find lingering in our heads when we don’t have a way to directly ask the dog!
Building a predictable routine that you and your dog can rely on is the same as asking them those questions, and will produce more consistent behaviors and give you reliable information about your dog’s mindset.
In this session, teams will work on:
– Teaching a choice-based ring entry
– Attaching anticipatory feelings (increased arousal) to the leash removal
– Changing the reinforcement contingency of the startline setup from food to work
– Chaining the pieces together for use in competition contexts
All agility teams will benefit from learning how to give our dogs a choice with regard to competing and how to reduce reinforcement effectively with the use of routines and sequences of behaviors.
Working participants should feel comfortable taking their dog’s leash off in the working space and have a trained setup behavior. A lead-out is not necessary for this session but is recommended (can be just a few steps).