Instructor: Laura Waudby
Does your dog seem to forget what sit means until you reach into your pocket? Do you struggle to get your dog's focus without a cookie in your hand? This FOUNDATION level class is designed to help dogs choose to work even when they can't see a reward, and to work with joy!
Topics in this class include
Teaching impulse control
Choosing to ignore distractions
Working with rewards at a distance
Increasing the duration of work between rewards
Teaching the dog to engage without seeing a reward
Introducing play as a "reward"
Dogs of any age and experience level are welcome.
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 10:00 AM Pacific Time.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 15 students, Silver: 25 students, Bronze: unlimited.
Gold Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to post questions and videos to the course forums. Students will receive instructor feedback on written and video assignments.
Silver Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to participate in the discussion forum. Students may ask GENERAL questions about course materials and may submit two, one-minute videos for instructor feedback. Any questions specific to your dog MUST be accompanied by a video.
Bronze Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to read all questions and answers posted in the class forums. Students will not post questions or submit written or video assignments.
For more details, refund policies, and answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
In process! Current setup:
- Beginning uncued/automatic leave its
- Teaching different reward markers
- leaving the reward to get the reward: beginning sends
- Leaving people with food
- Personal play overview
- Adding work to new reward cues
- Discriminating between reward markers
- Distractions vs rewards
- Sends past rewards
- Beginning attention walking
- Moving by distractions
- Engagement and Teaching a ready button cue
- Sequencing multiple behaviors before rewarding, how to deal with wrong responses
- Building distance from the reward
- Adding work after play
- Think harder! Sending the dog out near the reward location
- Sequencing behaviors with the reward elsewhere
- Flow between work and play- Reducing external rewards
- Leaving the reward past a threshold/ring gate
- Waiting while being approached
- Leash removals
- Will you feed me? Handing over your rewards
- End of run routines- leashing up and heading out
- Play with other rewards visible
- Working without seeing rewards
- Using reward placements in training
- How to set up training sessions
- Ring Routines- setting up and adding work
- Surprise Distractions
There are no prerequisites for this class! This is a foundation class appropriate for even young (5+ months) dogs. Young dogs without many established behaviors can set a great foundation for choosing to work with rewards at a distance, but may be doing easier versions of some of the more advanced exercises. To work on all exercises, teams should have the start of a "send" to a mat or target from 5 feet away, at least 3 behaviors on verbal cue, and focus with minor distractions.
Advanced teams who are already trialing should still expect to go back to the foundation exercises presented in the class.
Most exercises can be done in a small space such as a living room. For advanced versions of exercises, teams may benefit from having enough space to set up a jump (for agility students), and/or a ring entrance (for all sports).
- rewards! Toys can be used for most exercises if the team prefers it to food!
- a target the dog knows how to send to such as a mat, crate, or platform (if the dog does not yet know a send away, a lecture will introduce how to teach this topic).
- zen bowl (a reward container the dog can eat out of such as a special food bowl or Tupperware container. Some teams with especially eager dogs may want to have a lid)
- a helper. Having another person play the role as a distractor will be used in about 3 of the lectures. Working teams can skip the exercise if they don't have access to a helper.
- Optional: A jump, tunnel, or cone
- Optional: A ring entrance such as 2 baby gates, exercise pens, or fencing of some sort.
3-5 A Send Moving Towards The Reward
Previously on our send work, we have asked the dog if he can leave the location of his reward container to do his task. The reward might have been on the ground nearby, but it was closer to you versus the target.
Now we are going to see if the dog can choose to work even if it means moving TOWARDS the reward container. This takes a greater level of impulse control to stay in thinking mode and not revert back to mobbing the cookie container as he gets close.
Place your cookie jar located even with the chosen target, but still a few feet off to the side. Send your dog just 5 feet at first! As your dog gets more comfortable with the exercise, work on moving your reward container closer to the target so that the dog is really having to choose between listening to your cue or mobbing the reward!
Here Zelda shows trying to send to her mat with the zen bowl just out past it. She struggles with being able to do the task! I make it easier by not having it more off to the side. Since Zelda was just a quick foster and didn't really know her marker cue to send to the bowl, I bring the reward bowl to her:
Be careful not to push too fast on this exercise! Some dogs will be good about not rushing up to the reward container but may lack confidence in sending out. They will be conflicted! Praise your dog for trying so hard to make the right choice, and make the exercise easier for them by having the reward container located further away. We want happy, confident dogs!
Continue to practice sends to other targets where the dog has to move towards the reward. Examples may be going around a cone, sending to a tunnel, sending out of a room, etc.
Here Zumi is working on leaving her ball in order to do a jump wrap for agility. I quickly find out that I made the exercise too hard for her, even when I tried to help with extra body language cues. I then move the location of her ball reward so that even though she is sending towards it, it is located on the side away from where I want her to turn. This easier location gives Zumi greater success:
A sampling of what prior students have said about this course ...
Can't say enough good things about this class!!!!!! The lectures clearly communicated the information, with the videos providing good examples of what was being discussed. Laura was extremely supportive. She was able to give good feedback in a very positive manner. Her caring and enthusiasm came through, creating an atmosphere of encouragement that led handlers and dogs to success after success. Out of all the FDSA classes I have taken, this is one of the top ones! Nicole
Laura provides so much information I find myself taking notes as I read her lectures!Also, information is clearly written and easy to follow.
This was another terrific experience for me and my dog. The class materials, the pace, and Laura’s keen eye were all excellent. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who participates in dog sports. The material applies to so many of the things we do with our dogs! The videos were extremely helpful and ranged from beginning skills to more advance. Seeing the baby in the videos was an added bonus! I would most definitely take another class with Laura. Thanks!!!
Laura was able to cater to the individual needs of every student. She was perceptive and has a great eye for detail.
Laura provides so much information I find myself taking notes as I read her lectures! Also, information is clearly written and easy to follow.