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Good training: Break it down; build it up

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Here’s a session with Lyra; she’s training for a variety of TEAM skills.  (AKC folks might want to pay attention; lots of precision tips in here for you to consider)

It’s good training.  Maybe not great training but that’s ok; chasing after perfection just makes me neurotic so I do my best, am proud of what I do, improve over time and focus on what is going right!

The basic rhythm is this:

Ask for a behavior.  If I get it, super!  Reward.  Maybe do it again. Maybe not.

Ask for a behavior.  If I don’t get it, super!  We have something to work on!  I’ll probably reward the behavior anyway.  Break out the issue.  Work on it with a high rate of reinforcement and support.  And then try it again in a more formal manner.

Is it good?  We did it!  Not so good?  Try another route, or shelf it for another day.

I want a behavior chain.  Do I think I can get it?  Yes?  Great – go for it!

I want a behavior chain.  Do I think I can get it?  No?  Then first practice the pieces of the chain and then string them together when the pieces look right.

The following session is about 10 minutes and is fairly typical.  We work straight fronts from angles, pivots from front and side position, getting on her disc, listening (“in” does not mean get on disc; “around” does not mean meander somewhere near heel position until you remember what you’re doing), fly (yes, you have to go AROUND the cone; not fake it!) Position changes (“sit” is so hard!), and play (so fun!).

We both had a good time; therefore it was a nice session:



About dfenzi

I'm a professional dog trainer who specializes in building relationship in dog handler teams who compete in dog sports. My personal passions are Competitive Obedience and no force (motivational) dog training. I travel throughout the world teaching seminars on topics related to Dog Obedience and Building Drives and Motivation. I own Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, a comprehensive online school for motivational training of performance sport dogs.

One response »

  1. What a great post this is Denise! No corrections only rewards! So you keep attitude! You are the one to follow! Thanks for posting another wonderful blog Denise!!


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