OB245: Obedience Skillbuilding 3 and 4

Instructor: Hannah Branigan

Course Details

This class is a combination of the original skillbuilding 3 and 4 classes. We will continue to work on building complex exercises needed for the ring. We will also be putting the skills together and getting them ready for prime time! We'll be using the skills from the first two classes in this series.

We will continue to work on building complex exercises needed for the ring. We will also be putting the skills together and getting them ready for prime time! We'll be using the skills from the first two classes in this series.

The specific behaviors we'll be working on include:

  • Final chaining behaviors to form finished exercises
  • Finishing Retrieve - Wait for the cue, Retrieve over the High Jump
  • Pivots for Scent Discrimination and Directed Retrieve
  • Basic proofing games that can be done alone or with a helper


  • Adding formality and polish to the exercises
  • Sequencing exercises for ring performance
  • Delaying reinforcement to the end of the chain
  • Proofing for robust performance behaviors
  • Troubleshooting common problems

This class is a bit different from some of our other offerings. Instead of receiving weekly lessons, we'll give you the instructions for getting started on all of the exercises from the beginning. You can choose to work on all of the skills, or just pick which ones you are most interested in. This class can be repeated as many times as necessary until you feel that you have mastered the skills to your satisfaction.


There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.

Registration will begin at 11:30AM PST.

Enrollment limits: Gold: 10 students, Silver: 15 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.


All lesson material is released at once for this class. Lessons include:

  • Introduction - Getting serious but staying FUN, incorporating play into the exercises
  • Scent Discrimination - Adding formal articles
  • Wait for Recalls and Broad Jump
  • Signals
  • Go outs - Formal context and distance
  • Retrieve - Adding “wait"
  • Retrieve - Over the High Jump
  • Retrieve - Gloves
  • Pivots for Gloves and Scent Discrimination
  • Beginning Sequencing for exercises
  • Fronts and Finishes
  • Directed Jumping
  • Transitions between exercises
  • Proofing Go Outs vs Gloves
  • Drop on Recall - Proofing with Zen bowl
  • Retrieve - Proofing On the Flat and Over the High Jump
  • Baseball-style Glove Retrieve (for CDSP)
  • Stand for Exam 

Prerequisites and Equipment

The exercises we cover in this class will depend very much on having solid foundation skills already on board.

Taking Skillbuilding 1 and 2 at any level is *REQUIRED* for gold and silver participants.

Bronze students have no "required" prerequisites, but should understand that the class will assume knowledge of the earlier skill levels. 



Course Testimonials



Videos were highly motivating - made me want to train! Love how they were short and to the point. Made training fun and interesting. Best of all, I could see progress. Just wish we had more time. . . Lynne A                  

Hannah is so kind and patient, she gives really good feedback and always offers a tidbit that will add even more success. I feel as though she remembers what we have done in prior classes and she builds upon that in a very productive way. It's always a pleasure to take one of her classes and I look forward to doing more !              

This series of classes is a fabulous opportunity for newbies who have never trained the more complex obedience exercises before or the more seasoned handler who is struggling or wants new ideas. It provides a solid foundation for the dog and an in depth understanding for the human. It is tailored to what your dog needs. For my arousaholic dog I have learned some incredibly useful techniques to manage issues that come up in every aspect of our training (and home life). Hannah is encouraging and really cares how you are doing, whether the success is large or small. It provides a wonderful environment for learning and asking questions. Heather L                 

I think Hannah's Skills series are a "hidden gem" of FDSA. This is where we are learning the tiny skills necessary to incorporate into bigger chains. I can't say enough how instrumental these courses have been to Finn and I. We never "get stuck" for long because we have Hannah to guide us and most importantly, the continuity of the classes allows Hannah to really get to know each team that takes advantage of these classes session after session. She always knows which solution will work best for us. Thanks Hannah!            

Hannah always has a way to split behaviors for better teaching. Clear and concise.              

Hannah is awesome. She has a great ability to break things down to the littlest thing that makes all the difference. There is a group of us that continue to keep coming back to whatever skills level is available and she lets us work whatever we need help with at any level of that exercise. Her ability to prioritize the emotional state of the dog is a huge strength and makes all the difference for us with softer dogs.              

Hannah makes comments and suggestions to help her students move forward and solve problems. She is very supportive and creative in her problem solving.             

If you want to compete in obedience, these skill building classes are how you get there. Hannah breaks every exercise apart into building blocks, and you add block after block until you have a finished exercise. Her methods are useful and clear. Why would anyone do it differently