RA512: Advanced Skills and Behaviors for RF and MF

Instructor: Julie Flanery

Course Details

Advanced freestyle behaviors are Cool! and Fun! and Oh my! did you see what that dog just did!  

Learn to train many of the skills seen in advanced musical freestyle routines and Rally-FrEe advanced classes.  You'll learn how to break down these behaviors for more complete understanding and less frustration for you and your dog.

This course will go through all of the steps in teaching advanced skills of circling backward around the handler, turn-back thru, back weaves, and distance behaviors, with an emphasis on precision and starting and finishing in position.

Gold students may each choose an additional intermediate/advanced skill they would like to be coached on.


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 12:00 noon, PDT.

Enrollment limits: 12 gold, 25 silver, unlimited bronze. If you are interested in a bronze-level spot you can register any time during the registration period.


Each Gold student can choose an additional behavior that they would like to learn how to train or get coaching on.  Handler choice behaviors can be included in your vids for any week.

Wk 1:  

Target stick use in advanced skills

Starting back circles

Training distance as a concept

Wk 2:  

Back circles - adding the cue and removing props

Transitional target stick skills

Backing to distance behaviors

Wk 3:  

Starting turn back thru

Continue back circles on other side - adding the cue, removing props

Wk 4:  

Turn back thru - adding the turn, adding the cue, removing props

Wk 5:  

Starting Back weaves - options in training 

Wk 6:  

Back weaves - adding the cue, removing props

Follow up on behaviors in wks 1-5

Prerequisites and Equipment

Gold students: Pre-requisite of RA 500 or higher (Foundation Skills for Musical Freestyle and Rally-FrEe) along with skills listed below. RA 510 or 511 recommended.

Students should be familiar with the use of markers, either a clicker or verbal marker and should understand the process of “shaping” or marking and rewarding small increments of behavior toward building the end result.

Dogs should have foundation skills of circling the handler, spins in left and right heel, be able to comfortably pass through the handler’s legs, and be able to remain in a standing position in left and right heel and in front of the handler. Dogs should also understand the concept of backing and have good rear end awarness.

Dogs and handlers should be comfortable using "training gates".  Please see equipment list.

Please contact me if you have any questions regarding pre-requisites.


We’ll be using target sticks for some behaviors. Target sticks should be 14-18 inches long and have a distinct “target” at the end.  If you don’t have a target stick, a household item may be used, such as a long wooden spoon or you can make one from a wooden or acrylic dowel and a foam practice golf ball. Target sticks can also be purchased online.

We will be using “training gates” to create clear criteria and eliminate the need for hand cues.  These can be made from wire cube organizer panels (sold online or in-store), secured in lengths of 10 with zip-ties.  Often you can find the wire panels used at thrift stores.  The best price I’ve found is at K-mart online, free ship to store or home, linked above. One box of 6 cubes will net you two lengths of 10 panels.  This is enough to cover the exercises in this course.

Very large dogs or dogs that may not respect barriers may use 18”-24’ Ex-pens.  Small dogs under 14 inches may use “critter trail play pen” also found online.

We will also be using platforms for some exercises.

Please contact me if you have any questions regarding equipment.