OB330: Obedience Games

Instructor: Julie Symons

Course Description

If you like to think of training as a game, then this is the class for you! If you have a busy schedule and are always on the go and finding your obedience training taking a back seat - come play and see how it's possible to fit in little pockets of obedience game training into your day! 

This is not a skills class but designed to present many short, fun, and fast paced games for all levels of competition obedience training.  If you are looking for a foundation obedience skills class, check out OB111: Team Sports Foundation: Level 1 and 2, being offered this term.

This course will cover games for retrieves, go-outs, pivots, setups, recalls, signals, impulse control and more! Time to throw out the predictability and build a love for the game of obedience! Some games will be "tried and true" and we'll also see what you can come up with too! We’ll lose the formality and build enthusiasm by mixing things up and keeping everybody on their toes and paws! By adding “game training” and less predictability, we build relationship and transfer reinforcement to the act of playing!

With enjoyment comes speed and snappy responses! We will work on building speed going away and coming back - a really pretty picture to see in the ring!  The faster your dog wants to come back the quicker their response/retrieve will be. First we build energy and attitude for the game, and then precision is developed over time. We will work on never showing disappointment and learn to think about what could unintentionally squash momentum or speed. The idea is to not jeopardize speed and enjoyment for accuracy.

By approaching sessions in this manner, you will find it's easier to work on reducing your classic reward schedule. The games and movement refocus both trainer and dog to enjoy the activities and not so much the giving or taking of treats! Dogs may start to prefer engagement or toys over treats with these fast paced games. Your sessions will end with your dog wanting more!!




Next session starts: October 1, 2017
Registration starts: September 22, 2017
Registration ends: October 15, 2017

Registration begins at 11:30am PDT.

Enrollment limits: Gold: 12 students, Silver: 25 students, Bronze: unlimited. If you are interested in a bronze level subscription, you can sign up at any time during the registration period.


Week 1: Daily Games

Week 2: Retrieves, Returns and Recalls

Week 3: Impulse Control Games, Stand Games

Week 4: Jumping Games

Week 5: Signal (distance) Games, Mix & Match

Week 6: Go Out Games

Prerequisites and Equipment

Prerequisites: The class will be most beneficial for teams preparing for Novice obedience competition or higher with a willingness to think outside the box and try new things! Most games will have a "beginner" and advanced level. 

If you are looking for a foundation obedience skills class, check out OB111: Team Sports Foundation: Level 1 and 2, being offered this term.

Concepts from Ob-ility helpful, but not required.

Equipment: Basic set of obedience equipment (minimum 2 jumps, broad jump (can improvise)), some ring gating, cone/pool noodle upright, zen bowl (small bowl), retrieve items (toys, dumbbell, gloves (more than 3 ideal)), coffee filters (optional), agility tunnel (optional), mat, large platform or pvc box where dog has room to do tricks/position changes. I use a 3'x3' pvc box for my belgians.

Course Testimonials

A sampling of what prior students have said about this course .....

Julie's Obedience Games includes a wealth of videos and information on how to train numerous obedience exercises using games that keep training fun (and effective) for both canines and humans. She is a highly dedicated instructor who provides detailed feedback for each gold team including additional suggestions if complications arise. This is a great addition to any FDSA obedience library and is a terrific class!!! Clarissa B        

This class absolutely crushed my expectations!! Julie is an amazing and caring instructor who invests herself heavily into each student's success, and she has tons of brilliant games and ideas. One of the things I absolutely LOVE about these games is exactly what I had hoped for in signing up - there are so many things to train in dog sports, and we covered so many exercises in really fun and efficient ways!! And it really shows how much learning occurs even when working through new behaviors and chains...something that has been especially fantastic for me is sequencing things together in various ways. My comfort zone as a trainer is to just do parts and pieces. I don't do a lot of sequencing or chaining on my own, and obviously we have to that in order to get into the ring :-) To watch my dog put things together while learning new things is SO fun!! Julie is really creative with various exercises. This class was a blast, and I will absolutely look for it again in the future :-)           

Talk about expanding your toolbox. So many great ideas here to fix things and create greater precision without actually focusing on a specific area. Everything involved doing things with joy, so the dog never even recognized that he was being "fixed." Loved this course! Mary Ann         

As with all of the FDSA courses, this one is focused on you and your dog having a great time while achieving what you need to in the obedience ring. The lectures are super clear with great videos which is fantastic if you are following along at Bronze. All the lecturers at FDSA are enthusiastic and supportive and Julie is no exception. Louise R           

This class was full of great ideas to make obedience more and more enjoyable for our dogs. Obedience has a lot of precise skills we need to work into chains, which can be challenging for many teams to progress their foundation skills to formal exercises. The ideas presented in the class provide creative and thoughtful steps to take known skill pieces closer to a ring routine. Games build momentum on known behaviours, increase what we are able to ask before a reward, and allow us to train several skills efficiently, all while making every session enjoyable without losing precision.             

Obedience games teaches a fun way of training your dog without giving the "boring" repetition of practising the exercises over and over. Yet that is exactly what you are doing.        

This is a new class for Fenzi and it way exceeded the class description. I know this is a class I will LOVE having in my library and referring back to in the future. Another fabulous class and fabulous instructor Ellen L.      

Highly recommend this course level for those who are serious about keeping a happy and open communication with their dog, in training and in the rings.