sports-dog

Image credit: Debbie Fuller

Tips & Exercises to build your Puppy into your Future Sports-Dog continued…

So last week we looked at the following games to build our future sports dogs:

  • Crate/Bed Games for Self Control and Teaching Boundaries
  • Body Awareness to Teach Confidence and Proprioception
  • Reinforcement Zone
  • Puppy Grids

This week we’ll look at:

  • Shaping Around Objects
  • Tricks and Behaviours
  • Toy and Food Switching
  • Restrained Recall Without Someone to Help

Shaping Around Objects

Under, over, round, through and on! Open your dog’s mind by letting them interact with different objects and letting them offer all possible ways to shape behaviours with the object.

Tricks and Behaviours

Make a list of behaviours and tricks that you are going to teach to your puppy, build your puppy skills:

  • Sit, down and stand: building verbal cue and distance
  • Walk backwards
  • Left and right spin
  • Weave between legs
  • Bow
  • Hold an object in the mouth
  • Hold a pole with a front leg
  • Reverse between your legs
  • Middle: between your legs facing forward

Toy and Food Switching

From the start of your training keep a balance between toy and food rewards. Your pup should be able to switch between toy and food whenever you need to! You can make it a game! Teach your puppy to get the toy and then the food on different cues, so you can decide what you are rewarding with and you will establish the balance between the rewards. If your dog prefers food over toys, then start with a high value toy and low value food and vice versa, until you can create a balance!

Restrained Recall Without Someone to Help

Train your recall even if you don’t have someone to restrain your puppy. Have your puppy on a long line and use a tree or a pole to help you restrain: slip the long line on the other side of the tree so that you can “restrain” the puppy and take just a bit of advantage and then let go of the lead and run calling your puppy! Remember to have their favourite reward with you when you are playing recalls!!!

lauren langmanAbout the Author: Lauren Langman is responsible for the design and development of all Devon Dogs classes, events and workshops. She competes in Agility at Grade 7, the highest rank of competition in the British agility arena. She regularly competes and wins at top agility events in the UK including Crufts and Olympia, and has represented the UK at World Agility Championship level on many occasions.

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