FE125: Adolescent Sport Dogs

Instructor: Julie Daniels

Course Details

This class is for dogs who have a career ahead of them!  It's a class in advanced foundation concepts for performance teams.  Gold spots are open to dogs who are at least 10 months old and less than 2 years old.

We will concentrate on building teamwork, skills, and mental strength together.  If you know your dog's future sport then you will be encouraged to incorporate your tools of the trade into the class.  You do not need to specialize in any particular sport, but you are welcome to do so.

It is assumed that your dog is already clicker savvy and has been taught some basic manners and skills with a clicker.  You should come into this class with a dog who enjoys working for rewards and enjoys working with you.

Every dog sport requires physical skills and mental skills.  This class will address both aspects of the performance game.  We will learn to raise and lower the arousal state on cue.  We will use props to help 
with positions and behaviors and impulse control as we build skills and teamwork.  I am flexible with the use of props and we will have an array:  Magic Mat, Crate Games, Target Sticks, Sit Targets, Zen Bowl, 
Cookie Jars, Puppy Puzzles, Snuffle Mats, and lots of other props and games will all be useful.  So you will finish the class with a wide exposure to tools which will benefit you long term.

This class will also teach your dog to multi-task.  We will be teaching skills and games which help your dog combine his best body work with his best thinking.  He needs to learn, and then take what he knows and put it into action in increasingly challenging environments.

The physical skills of our dog sports are built from foundation movements and behaviors which will be a common start point for all of us.  And the mental games we play will build the ability to think and focus amid cheerful chaos.

We will work on the handler as well!  Teamwork is a very important component of this class.  Our motto is “Teamwork = TLC.  Trust, Leadership, Confidence.”

The sport dog handler needs to be an effective captain of the team.  We will look at the art and science of motivation.  You are the navigator, the inspiring leader who moves effectively, gives timely cues and sets 
correct lines.  We will learn to be these inspiring leaders who cue well and use position and motion effectively.  We will discuss the best cues and expectations for your team based on your sport and your handling requirements.

And, like it or not, you may need to learn to multi-task as well!  Many handlers insist that their dogs not lose focus when a distraction appears, yet they automatically disconnect themselves from their working dogs all too easily.  We have all been guilty of that!  In this class we will also look at our own  behaviors as handlers who are developing our sport dogs to their full potential.  “Training” and “Focus” will each be a highly respected two-way street!  So get ready, because I have some fun games which are challenging for dogs and handlers alike!  We'll keep each other learning, discussing, laughing, and playing.  We'll make our sport dogs eager, happy, confident and smart!

I hope you can come and play!