Week One Homework


Welcome to Ranch Dog Manners. I started this site in 2016 to give a basic agility or obedience foundation to my incoming herding students. It is based on 15 years of homework assignments for Gallatin County 4H Agility which I started in 1998. All of these homework can be done inside or a small backyard. After 5 weeks of assignments expect a simple virtual test where a parent can be the “tester”.

Mark—>Reward    Two easy words, but what does it mean?

Before starting a new training adventure it is important to know what your dog loves. My dogs, Rey and Finn, love sheep first, and then if there are no sheep, toys and cheap hotdogs. They do not like their dog food or loud noises.

For indoor training I like to use the cheap hotdogs.

Before starting I cut them into about 50 pieces. They will be used as the REWARD.

I like to MARK with a “CLUCK” sound I make with my tongue. I also use the word “YES” or if I can find it a “CLICKER”.

So what do I MARK?

Once my REWARDS are ready I call the dog over. Cluck and give them one REWARD.  Maybe the dog looks at me…. Cluck REWARD

Oh oh now the dog is staring at the food! No Cluck no REWARD.

Aaah now the dog looks at me… Cluck REWARD

Now remember you have  50 pieces of food for your dog and being generous rather than stingy will get you results the fastest. Once the food runs out do a little playing with your dogs favorite toy and end the session.

Work on getting good at Marking and Rewarding behavior for one week and then we will add some specific tricks to build a great agility, obedience or herding foundation.

The video features Rey (on the coach) and Finn (happily working).


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