FE205: Focus Games

Instructors: Deborah Jones and Judy Keller

Course Details

Focus: everyone wants it! But do you know how to get it?

This course will help you develop basic focus and a great working relationship using a variety of games that both you and your canine partner will enjoy playing together. The games will fall into one of three categories: increasing enthusiasm to work, improving impulse control, and decreasing reactions to distractions. Then, we'll begin combining the games so that your dog is truly focused!

*We have added examples and ideas for applying these games to puppies as young as 8 weeks with a weekly "baby focus" section. 



Next session starts: April 1, 2017
Registration starts: March 22, 2017
Registration ends: April 15, 2017

Registration begins at 10:30 AM PST.

Enrollment limits: Gold: 10 students, Silver: 10 students, Bronze: unlimited. If you are interested in bronze level, you can sign up any time during the registration period.

For answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.


Baseline exercises:

     Rapid fire CT

     Turning on & off

Week 1:  FUN:  This is ALWAYS where we start.  If your dog isn't having fun then moving forward is a waste of time.  We want happy and eager training partners.

     Two treats game

     Come & go game

     Cookie/toy race!

Week 2:  BABY STEPS:  Sometimes it's the tiniest little things that make a huge difference in your dog's attitude towards training.  These silly little games pay off over and over in future work. 

     Peek a boo!

     Hide & seek


Week 3:  MOVE IT:  Action & movement are almost always more compelling to a dog than stillness.  We'll integrate movement into our interactions in fun ways.

     Stop & go


     Race me!

Week 4:  CONTROL YOURSELF:  Self-control is a beautiful thing.  It needs to be practiced in short, easy sessions for the best chance at success.

     Slow treats (or toy)

     Zen bowl

     Floor zen

Week 5:  FUN + CONTROL:  Putting these two things together and creating a balance leads to great enthusiasm and attitude in the ring.  Too much of one or the other is an issue.  We want to follow the Golidlocks rule and get it "just right".

     Crazy dog



Week 6: MORE FUN THAN A BARREL OF MONKEYS!:  Trainers are creatures of habit and that's both good and bad in dog training.  Consistency is necessary to teach high quality skills and behaviors.  But, if we leave out surprise and excitement then our dogs will just go through the motions without the level of engagement we want. 


     Mix it up!

     Hidden treasure 

Prerequisites and Equipment

There are no prerequisites to sign up at any level.  Everyone is welcome!  However, if you are familiar with the exercises in the Get Focused class it will be helpful.  

If you want to purchase the lectures from Get Focused for self-study, please go to our Prerequisites Purchase Page.

Deb & Denise's new book Dog Sport Skills: Book 4: Focus & Engage! is now available through www.thedogathlete.com.  It is not required, but will provide additional information related to this topic.  

Course Testimonials


I can't say enough about the FDSA training program and the instructors I had in my course. The Gold Level was so valuable for not only my pup but also myself. I have tried so many other classes and was beginning to get frustrated with where we were and our lack of cohesion. Within a six week period I feel positive that we are finally heading in the right direction with our training and are well on our way to becoming a happy team. Our relationship building alone was worth the money, but we got so much more! Barb S.                

Focus Games is a fantastic course that has given me a lot more tools to help improve my dogs focus and confidence. I am really delighted with the progress that Judy & Deb have helped Lilly and I to achieve Melita R.               

These classes are some of the most fun, positive, and helpful classes I have taken. This says a lot after over 20 years of classes in both obedience and agility. Glad I found this Academy! Anne T            

These two courses (get focused and focus games) should be on any trainer's must do list. The amount of knowledge imparted is simply amazing Judi E               

One of the things I really like about working at Gold is the instructors ability to customize feedback and class for the dog and handler. It's fantastic!             

I can't remember exactly what convinced me to take this course. First I wasn't going to take any courses this session, then I thought okay I'll take this at bronze, then something someone said about the course popped me over to wanting very badly to take it at Gold. I'm SO glad I did. It's turned out to be the course that seems to have turned a light bulb on for us (both of us).              

I first took the Get Focused course then followed on with the Focus Games with my young border collie. It has made a huge difference in his training and his focus is quite increadable. he is a work in progress and with using the tools from these courses Im hoping he will turn out to be a wonderful compitition dog and pet. Lyn C