AWESOMENESS

Competition agility dogs will encounter all kinds of people in training, traveling and competing. Your job is to manage your pup’s exposure and interaction so that they conclude that people, all kinds of people, are A-OK. 

Dogs by nature very aware of their surroundings and dogs will include people in the things they notice. This means that they will notice that people tend to move and behave in predictable ways. Having said th...

Teach your dog to try things in order to create an opportunity to earn a reward.

When you play this game, try to relax and let your dog invent something interesting to try. You are not specifically interested in any particular behavior - what you are trying to do is encourage your dog to try something in order to get a reward. 

If you find this very difficult to do, try picking a simple behavior (such as a nose touch). However,...

 Fetch is such a good game (once you build the basic version) that you can use it to teach a huge variety of skills. Here are some example of the dozens of games of fetch that I play both with my own dogs to build agility skills but also dogs in other activities such as search and rescue where these skills are of paramount importance.

Teach your dog to bring things to you, chase you with things in their mouth, and happily give the toy up to play again or to play another game. Being able to make the choice to bring a treasure back to you is one of the strongest partnership and relationship skills a puppy can be taught. Some dogs come with it naturally, many do not and it has to be built.

If your dog does not have a natural desire to play with toys, carry them...

There are several approaches to this training and you’ll want to take advantage of all of them: 

1) Practice any of the foundation behaviors (nose touch, it’s your choice, tug, fetch…) in the presence of other things that are interesting (new environments, new people, dogs, noises etc.) See also “novel things are fun”

2) Teach the dog to “Get” whatever you are presenting as a reward even in the presence of a distraction (such as...

Teach your puppy that things that might be distracting are just predictors of something good coming from mom. This way if something is scary, look to mom. If something is highly arousing, look to mom.

This will give you a chance to help your puppy and give your puppy a way to cope with things that might be too much for them. 

One way to teach the puppy is to play “whatever!” games where you entice them to look at stuff that is a...

Safely introduce your puppy’s senses to the widest range of stimulus you can come up with. The puppy is rewarded for being interested and curious but not over stimulated or fearful. The more novel things they learn about, the more they will take in stride novel things they have never learned about.

Watch your puppy carefully for signs of arousal and manage the training opportunity carefully so as not to over do it. At the same...

Below is a list of things I consider when looking for a future agility teammate. As you read the list, you will probably notice that there is a lot of educated guessing that has to take place with a puppy, remember you have other options.

Selecting an older puppy or rescue sometimes gives you a much better picture of who that particular dog is, and whether they might be a good agility prospect. True there is a lot of foundation...

Let me start this off by saying that I am not an expert in conditioning, balance work, range of motion exercises, rehabilitation, massage, chiropractic, or acupuncture. Probably you aren't either.  

So my best advice is line up a support system for your dog, who is going to go through rigorous training, competition (potentially) and challenging physical exertion to play in the sport of agility. Get expert advice suitable f...

Teach your dog that self-restraint is rewarding – just an extension of making choices in general.

Play its your choice games with a chance to go outside, a chance to eat dinner, toys, treats, hide-n-seek etc.

As you play these games, your dog will begin to offer stay behaviors as they choose the mindset of self-restraint - start adding your release word “OK, get it” to tell them when its ok to go for the treat, out the door, hea...

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© 2017 by Andrea Dexter @ Agilityflix