OB210: Obedience Skillbuilding 1

Posted in Skill Building Courses

Instructor: Hannah Branigan

Course Details

Novice and Open and Utility.. Oh my!
You look around and there is just SO much information out there…so many exercises, so many methods… it’s overwhelming!
What you need is someone to break it all down. Give you a clear roadmap to take you from where you are now to your finish line (UD? UDX? OTCH dreams?) 
That is EXACTLY what we do in this class. 
This class will provide you with clear, step-by-step instructions for getting started on every exercise in AKC, UKC, CDSP, and even the new TEAM exercises.
  •      Just getting started with a young dog and don’t know where to begin? This class is for you!   
  •      Never taught scent discrimination before and don’t know how to get started? Start here! 
  •      Just finished a CD with your Saluki (congratulations!) and now you’re thinking thoughts about Open, but he’s never put anything in his mouth that wasn’t food? We can help! 
Foundation is everything, so in this course, we will work on the critical, multi-purpose foundation skills necessary for building solid, precise, reliable performance in the ring. And, we will emphasize making it simple, fun, and most importantly EFFICIENT
In this class, you can choose to work through the entire program or focus on one or two exercises that particularly interest you. You will receive all of the lecture material and exercises on the first day of class.
The Skillbuilding class progression (1-4) will take you through evaluating your behaviors, building the fundamental components of each exercise, getting them on cue, chaining them together, and proofing and polishing them for the ring. But it all builds off the behaviors taught in this class. Don’t miss it!


(Note: The Skillbuilding series does include some basic heeling skills, but we don’t cover heeling extensively. It’s a huge subject, so we’ve devoted separate courses to heeling by itself in order to do it justice.) 



Next session starts: June 1, 2017
Registration starts: May 22, 2017
Registration ends: June 15, 2017

Registration begins at 11:00am PDT.

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


Skills Covered:


  • Platforms - Front paw platform, pivoting independently around a platform, sit.
  • Targeting - Nose, Paw and Chin
  • Beginning Fronts and Finishes - with and without platforms
  • Positions - Sit/Down/Stand
  • Beginning Retrieve - Take it/Hold
  • Wrapping
  • Beginning Jumping (safe for any age dog)
  • Beginning Scent Discrimination (no retrieve necessary)
  • Fading Lures
  • Getting behaviors under stimulus control (on cue)

Prerequisites and Equipment

Equipment needed:

Clicker and Treats
Pivot platform - 4-6" (or higher), approximately shoulder width for the dog
Tall cone, stool, jump standard or other object
Flat target
5-6 (or more) Identical (numbered) metal objects for scent articles - Candy tins, spoons, jar lids, etc
Retrieve object(s) - Stick or dowel-shaped, does not need to be a formal dumbbell

Optional: Platform for Sit or Full body

Prerequisite skills: You will get the most out of this class if your dog is already familiar with the click/treat contingency, has focus and attention skills in a familiar environment, and you both have some experience with shaping and capturing behaviors. 

While there are no official prerequisites, I strongly recommend Performance Fundamentals or Shaping.

Course Testimonials

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

Great, great class materials. I will be going back to these lectures over and over to help with all elements of the obedience requirements. Wonderful addition to the toolbox. Diana S          

Obedience skill building I was very helpful and has sparked my interest in continued training with my standard poodle! Hannah is very knowledgeable, caring, and prompt on feedback. I throughly enjoyed the class and learned more than I expected to. Tammie S.      

Hannah's feedback was incredibly insightful, detailed, & presented in such a caring & positive way! It was one of the most successful & safest online learning environments I have taken part in!    

I only worked on scent discrimination, but Hannah talking me thru training it, and it going really well and my dog 'getting' it - priceless! I think I got my money's worth sometime during week 1, when she had me do duration chin rests with my dog closely followed by nose touches to the lid in my hand, in order to get a more calm nose touch - absolutely genius!      

Hannah is an engaging and adept instructor. She presented great lectures and gave really good feedback to the gold students.    

My dog has low confidence and needed some solutions to training the skills in this class that were not all represented in the video. Hannah was fantastic every single time with recommending how Perri and I could be successful. I feel so empowered and enthusiastic about continuing to train my dog to do Obedience after this class. THANK YOU!!!   The Obedience Skillbuilding 1 course was exactly what I needed to take the basic skills my puppy and I already had, and start learning how to build on that foundation and work towards higher level obedience exercises. When I started, the idea of competing in obedience was intimidating, and now it feels extremely achievable!  

I have actively trained and competed in Obedience for over 15 years. I took this course with my first small dog and first terrier. I have tried to train this dog using methods, techniques learned previously but they all fell short and my instructors were encouraging me to get a new dog. The methods Hannah used have helped me find a new love in training my dog. For our relationship and his needs this was the best course I could ever take. My dog is responding quickly to these methods and I have accomplished things with him that have failed many times over the last 2 years. His issues regarding competing will include more than "training method" so we may not compete - or most likely I will find another Fenzi class to help me in that area! Rachel J