As always look back and review homework from the previous two weeks. Those assignments are the foundation behaviors for almost all dog sports.
- Once your dog is happily going around something and can do it multiple times then add a second obstacle and go around both items as a figure 8. For agility we build this up so that the obstacles are up to forty feet apart and really let the dog rip.
- Two feet on plate is one of the foundation behaviors to teach a dog to “high five” or to sit up and beg. To teach the dog to “beg” start to very slowly raise the plate while asking the dog to maintain a sit. The begging position is often used in canine therapy.
- Back up–I like to teach the dog to back up using a narrow aisle that the dog cannot turn around in. At home I just slide my couch out from the wall block one end and toss a toy or treat down it so that the dog has to back to get out. I start using the word “back” as they back out again and then repeat it a few times.
- Two feet on a plate–rotate the hind end. This trick teaches the dog that their back feet are important. With the front two feet on the “plate” reward the dog for any shift of their hind feet. Try to give the dog their reward so that they take yet another step. Herding breeds tend to get stuck staring at the person or food so remember to reward when they look in a new direction. Eventually this behavior can teach the dog a beautiful “heel position” that is used in competitive obedience.
- It is the end of December and New Year’s Eve is near. If anyone has a dog that reacts to fireworks then here is a technique that works quite well. It is also good for any other fears a dog might have. My dog Nero developed a fear of thunder, shooting and fireworks after his cancer started. I used this technique on him and he would come up to me to ask for help when something disturbed him. This is how I knew it worked. Click on Tapping points on the dog and a new window with an image of a dog with some star points will open. Think to yourself “Even though you are afraid of XXX I still love and accept you”. Tap the dog lightly as though you are handling a new born chick. Tap each spot starting under the nose about 6 times (jin-gle bells, jin-gle bells).