Instructor: Julie Symons
Next session starts: April 1, 2019Registration starts: March 22, 2019Registration ends: April 15, 2019
Registration will begin at 11:30 AM Pacific Time.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 12 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.
This class is a "prequel" to the popular OB330 Obedience Games class. This is not a skills class but designed to present many short, fun, and fast paced games for beginner competition obedience training. We will use the skills you already have and give you ways to practice that are fun and fast moving!
This course will cover games that will prepare you for future work when teaching the formal obedience skills such as retrieves, fronts, setups, recalls, stands, jumping, go outs, and more! It will also cover how to handle errors before they happen and why establishing some guidelines will build consistent and clear communication with our canine partners.
Each week 6 daily games will be rolled out with the objective to spend just a few minutes a day focused on a short fun “obedience based” training session. Planning for these short sessions will help with relationship, engagement, recalls, you name it! It doesn’t take long to play with purpose every day!
By adding “game training” with less predictability and formality, we build relationship and transfer reinforcement to the act of playing!
The following weekly games are broken down into small increments and intended to be played for just a few minutes a day.
**NEW** Games added each week!
Pre-game: Teaching a Release cue
- Get it! (Permission to get treats)
- Flys and Hopping Thrus (Fronts)
- Mark, Chase, Race
- Focused Food Drops, part 1 (Fronts)
- Handler Scent #1 *New*
- Turning MINE! Into Ours (dealing with toy possession)
- Turning Errors into Lemonade
- Tighten that Turn! (270 degree retrieve games)
- Signals/Stays Distance Prop #1
- Creating Secondary Reinforcers
- Releasing Fronts *New*
- Can You Stand It? (Stationary)
- Setup games
- Value for Jumps
- Signals/Stays Distance Prop #2
- Make Some Noise!
- Handler Scent #2 *New*
- Can You Stand It? (Signal)
- Examining Pressure (Pre-Stand For Exam)
- Can You Take It? (Retrieving toys on recalls)
- Signals/Stays Distance Prop #3
- High Five! (Hand touches)
- Sustained Front Touches *New*
- Reverse Fly/Send
- Looking Good! (Marking for Go-Outs)
- Pick 3 Rotation *New*
- Are You Ready?
- Glove Toss and Holds
- Handler Scent #3 *New*
- Can you Stand it? (Moving)
- Take it! (Marking for Directed Retrieve)
- Directing Jumps
- Mini Chains *New*
- Returning Stays
- Multi Tasking - Pick 2!
- Divided Attention
Prerequisites: No experience is necessary to start. Appropriate for dogs 4 months and older, from beginners to novice competition levels and any team looking to bring the fun back to obedience.
Equipment: Mainly you will just need you, your dog, lots of treats and toys! Other items needed will be: Cone/pool noodle upright, zen bowl (small bowl), retrieve items (toys, dumbbell, obed glove), multiple platform proprs (mat, raised platform (table top), pvc box, mini barrier gating), simple jump object (gutter, broad jump board), 2 jumps (optional).
Can You Take It
This is a really fun game that I started playing with my current young dog. The idea of the game is to build value for taking a toy/glove as they are coming toward you. This will carry over to the dumbbell/glove retrieve and help to work on stay and impulse control skills too!
When I first tried this with a toy, my thoughtful boy went right over the toy and came to me. I realized I needed to build more value/drive for taking the toy/retrieve item so I broke it down into smaller steps. This is also a valuable agility game in that we are treating the toy as an obstacle to take on their path. It's useful for sending your dog away with a toy reward at the end of a sequence.
This would also be a great time to use one of your Stay props (platform, box, mat)!
For dogs who are not big tuggers, you can release them to a tossed treat after they pick up the toy. The release ("get it") is permission to drop the retrieve item and contrary to what you might think, it's totally ok for them to drop the item when given permission to get their reward! The treat toss keeps the dogs moving, adds confidence (fun!) and speeds up their return by removing the pressure of coming to our front.
Break the game down as follows:
- Engage in some tug with the toy before starting.
- Put your dog in a wait (sit or stand). Back up holding the toy and drag it along the ground and cue for your dog to take it.
- Play lots of interactive tugging before doing the next step. We don't want to frequently take the toy away.
- Put your dog in a wait. Back away and drop toy. Release dog to take it as soon as or right after you drop it. Continue to back away or turn and run to encourage a chase.
- Play lots of interactive tugging before doing the next step.
- Put your dog in a wait. Back away and drop toy. Keep backing up and when you stop, release your dog to take it when you are not moving. After you dog is moving, back away or turn and run to encourage a chase.
Advanced: Repeat with your utility glove.
- My "take it" cue is one of my release cues, along with "break", "ok", "come", "find it", etc.
- You can turn and run and have your dog come to your side to remove frontal pressure.
A sampling of what prior students have said ...
I have taken multiple courses with Julie. She is one of my top 3 favorite instructors here at FDSA. Obedience Starters Games was just what my young dog and I needed at this time. Julie has a special place in my heart. Her classes are so full of games and she really makes training fun! I'm all about games that teach both dog and handler to push the envelope, and have fun while doing so. Julie's way of teaching helps me to loosen up and really enjoy the journey. I have never laughed so hard while training my dogs. Julie's sense of humor is contagious. Her classes are the ones I go to first thing in the morning. Better than a good cup of coffee with a friend! Amy R
I knew obedience could be fun, but thank you so much for opening up my creative eyes to the many ways we can make it so!
This was a fantastic class and even though I was participating at a bronze level I still really felt as though I was an active part of the class. It is so great to be able to go through the other student's videos and comments. I never wanted to compete in obedience because I didn't find the training to be as fun as the other dog sports I am involved in but this course changed my mind. I feel my dog and I got so much out of this course and I can't wait to take the next OB games class. Julia S.
This class was lots of fun for both my dogs and myself. In addition to being fun, it lays the groundwork for upper level competition exercises. But the most important thing is... IT WAS FUN! Rosemary E.
Really enjoyed this course. So many practical games to develop skills. I'll be watching for more of Julie's classes. Well done!!
Obedience Starter Games exceeded my expectations! Julie Symons provided a well structured course with so many practical and fun games to help me learn more about, understand and train obedience exercises. I appreciated her explanations, the rational and practical applications for each game. Thanks so much Julie and Fenzi for this opportunity. Looking forward to more courses with Julie! ~ Brenda M