I have heard that watching how a trainer trains – the good, the bad, and the ugly, is highly beneficial to some people, so here is a full training session from start to finish.  Here are my goals in the first minute:

1) See how Brito reacts to a brand new training space where he has never been, without allowing him to acclimate to the ring.  Obviously this is the “trial reality,” so I need to look at that once in a while.

2) See how Brito handles a longer stretch of formal work before receiving his first reinforcer.  We do this routinely at home, but not necessarily in a new space where he has not worked before, so this is a shift in criteria (new location).

After that, we moved into a routine training session with a high rate of reinforcement.

Finally, we finished off with another stretch of formal heeling to see how he was holding up after working for about ten minutes.

I was pleased with most of his work.  I can see where I need to improve my handling and where his precision suffers but on balance, we’re heading in the right direction.

Over the next few months we will continue to work on basic skill building for Open and Utility at home, and I will add more ring formality in public spaces.  For example, I will work more often with a judge calling a pattern, longer stretches without reinforcement, removing reinforcement from my body, and no acclimating inside the ring itself.

On an unrelated note, if you’d like to enter a contest to win a free bronze spot in my Engagement class at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy (new term starts December 1st), go ahead and enter the contest here. Your email will not be used for anything else; just the contest: Contest for Engagement class

I’m also teaching heeling games if you’d like to bring a bit more life to your dog’s work . Check out the entire schedule if you think you’d like to learn something new!:  Fenzi Academy December Schedule