Instructor: Mariah Hinds
Let’s put all of our training together and get your dog ready to rock in the Novice Obedience ring! We will look at building your dog’s confidence in new locations, helping your dog generalize the skills, adding realistic ring distractions to your dog’s skills, sequencing the skills together and we will go through all the steps to wean your dog off of that cookie in your hand or in your pocket. We will go over heeling, figure 8’s, transitioning from on-leash exercises to off-leash exercises, stand for exam, fronts and finishes, ring entrances and ring exits. Your confidence as a handler will improve when we discuss ring nerves and how to prepare yourself mentally for the ring and for the trial. Gold students can problem solve areas where their dog struggled in previous competition obedience events.
Get ready! This class will show you the pieces that you and your dog need to be prepared to enter the Novice obedience ring, whether that is Preferred Novice, Beginner Novice, or Novice! Whether your style of heeling and fronts is in line with AKC, CKC, FCI or IPO, this class will show you how the finishing pieces to ensuring that your dog's performance in the ring is simply brilliant.
*Dogs need to have some heeling, some fronts and finishes, some engagement and stays to be ready to take this class.
Next session starts: December 1, 2017Registration starts: November 22, 2017Registration ends: December 15, 2017
Registration will begin at 12:00 Noon Pacific Time.
For answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 12 students, Silver: 15 students, Bronze: unlimited.
Silver level for this class is offered as "Working Silver". Working silver students in Mariah's classes are allowed to ask unlimited questions. You will also have the opportunity to submit two short videos, one minute each, for critique and review.
If you are interested in a bronze level subscription, you can sign up at any time during the registration period.
Gold level access includes all lecture and video materials, ability to post questions and videos to the course forum, and feedback on all questions asked in the forum as well as feedback on both written and video assignments. Silver Level Access includes all lecture and video materials, ability to post questions to the course forum, and feedback on questions asked in the forum. You will not submit video or written homework for feedback. Bronze Level Access includes all lecture and video materials, and the ability to read all questions and answers posted in the class forum. You will not post questions or submit written or video assignments.
Gold level access includes all lecture and video materials, ability to post questions and videos to the course forum, and feedback on all questions asked in the forum as well as feedback on both written and video assignments.Number of slots:12
Silver Level Access includes all lecture and video materials, ability to post questions to the course forum, and feedback on questions asked in the forum. You will not submit video or written homework for feedback.Number of slots:15
Bronze Level Access includes all lecture and video materials, and the ability to read all questions and answers posted in the class forum. You will not post questions or submit written or video assignments.Number of slots: unlimited
Setting our dogs up for success
Reward and Release Markers
What skills do we need to be successful in the ring?
Focus and Engagement Skill Building
Heeling- pivots and turns on the flat (no prop)
Figure 8- Right circles
Sit, down and stand stays- building duration
Fronts- adding angles and adding a verbal cue
Ring Routine- taking off the leash
Focus and Engagement Fun and Games
Heeling- one step heeling and catch up heeling
Figure 8- left circles
Stand, sit and down stays- adding distractions
Front- weaning off of body language help
Ring Routine- ring exits
Focus and Engagement Distractions and Confidence
Heeling- turns within heeling
Figure 8- combining left and right circles with straight lines
Stand, sit and down stays- adding distance
Front- adding distance
Ring Routine- ring entrances and warm up routine
Focus and Engagement Sequencing
Heeling- change of pace
Figure 8- confidence building
Stand- distractions and confidence
Front- distractions and confidence
Ring Routine- sequencing your warm-up routine and ring exit
Focus and Engagement in the ring
Heeling- longer sequences
Stays- distractions and confidence building
Figure 8- sequencing and weaning off rewards
Stand- sequencing and weaning off rewards
Front & Finish- sequencing and weaning off rewards
Heeling- ring routine
Ring Routine- sequencing your ring routine
When to enter a trial
How to enter a trial
How to handle Ring Nerves
At a minimum, the dogs need to know how to pivot without a prop, find heel position on the flat, stand on cue, stay for short periods of time and engage and focus on you for brief periods of time in new locations.
For the best results, please plan on training in an environment with distractions once a week (the local park, shopping plaza or training club).
How we reinforce a behavior is just as important as how often we reinforce a behavior.
Action behaviors such as weaves and go outs where the dog is moving away from you, ideally are rewarded away from you. The easiest way to do that is to throw the reward onto the dog's path.
Action behaviors where the dog is moving towards us and we want the dog to stay out at a distance, ideally we reward behind the dog because most dogs are motivated to come towards the handler and because we want to build value for being at a distance from the handler.
Action behaviors where we want to build value for coming to us (loose leash walking, recalls or in agility to reward dogs who likes to stay out at a distance), we will want the reward to happen at the handler or behind the handler. We can reward by throwing the reward behind us or at our feet or between our legs to build more enthusiasm. To build more thoughtfulness, we can hand the reward to the dog.
For behaviors where we want precision such as heeling, fronts, 2 feet on an item, etc, ideally, we want to reward in a way that builds more value to what we want or off-sets the dog's normal tendency in order to build more precision. For example, my dogs are more likely to forge in heeling. To offset this, when I reward, the treat is transferred from my right hand to my left hand behind my back and then delivered to the dog either at or slightly behind heel position. For dogs who tend to lag, then we will want the reward to happen ahead of heel position by tossing the reward ahead of the dog. For dogs who heel too wide, we want the reward to be placed really close to us.
For fronts, it is really important that the reward is stored either at the center of our bodies (treats in your mouth), on both sides of your body (treat in both hands, one treat delivered from both hands at the same time) or behind you (send the dog through your legs for the reward). Storing the rewards in your right pocket and delivering them slightly to the right of center will result over time in the dog fronting slightly to the right of center.
It is okay to lure the dog to the ideal location to receive their reward.
Ideally, we want to reward stationary behaviors in position to help build duration and prevent extra movement from the dog during the behavior. If we want to build more enthusiasm for the behavior, then we can reward out of position by having the dog chase or catch the treat. In general, it is more exciting to chase a reward than it is to receive a reward in position.
Abundance of Rewards:
We can use the number of rewards that we give to the dog as a reinforcement strategy to shape our dog's behavior closer to the criteria that we ultimately desire. If I give my dog one reward for moving to heel position and setting up a tiny bit crooked and I give 3 rewards for moving to heel position and setting up precisely, then through this shaping process, my dog will start to set up more precisely.
Rewarding abundantly is also a great way to build value to that location and building duration for the behavior.
The type of reward that we are using plays a role in the emotional state that we are building with the behavior. If we are practicing go outs and I'm using a thrown toy to reward the dog, then that is going to create a different emotional state than if I was using food if the dog was equally motivated for both.
Exercise #3: What reinforcement strategies are you planning on using for the behaviors that you've chosen to work on
There are lots of ways to reward the dog and how we reward can help us a lot. Great reinforcement strategies can reinforce shifts in criteria that we want to build more precision or duration. Great reinforcement strategies can also off set an emotional response that we don't want (conflict, over-excitement, not enough excitement, etc.).
How do you typically reinforce your dog for heeling? How about for stays?
Turns and Pivots for Heeling Enthusiasm and Precision
Let’s take a look at our turns and pivots for heeling! Oftentimes, our dogs disconnect and lose attention during left, right and about turns. We can build a solid reinforcement history for our turns to help our dogs maintain their position and enthusiasm for heeling.
We can also use our reinforcement strategies to reward precision. In this video, Talent is being rewarded with one treat for coming to heel position. She is getting one treat, followed by some personal play and another reward for moving precisely into position. It’s a great idea to reward repeatedly in position as well.
Exercise #4: Let’s see how your dog is doing with pivots and turns- left, right and right about turns.