Practicing solid holds. Vincent will hold the article until given the release word. The aim is that he doesn’t loosen his grip even if I reach for it or touch it. He only releases when I say “yes”, whether I’m holding it at that point on not. https://youtu.be/Qx2ISUV_X_Q
Jericho finished learning his pedal bin trick. This is a huge achievement for this very sensitive dog, as he initially found the movement and sound of the lid quite scary. Lots of confidence now though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHIRSX7N61s
Vincent practicing holding articles still and firm. Chewing is not ideal so we have been rewarding just the moment the hold becomes still and ignoring any chewing. Also a firm hold is important because whilst the dumbbell will stay in the mouth even with a soft grip, the Australian UD articles are thin and flat and light, if the dog doesn’t actually hold the article firmly then there is a risk of it slipping out as they run back or as they sit in front. So the criteria for reinforcement is: centred, behind the canines and gripped firmly. The three articles are wood, leather and metal. Obviously most dogs don’t love metal immediately and you can see the slight hesitation from Vincent for the metal article still. https://youtu.be/uxtE3aSQ7E8
Vincent is learning how to get what he wants by ignoring it! This has been trained with positive reinforcement only. There have been no corrections, and no blocking or stopping. Instead this has been trained by increasing the movement and noise incrementally and then rewarding his choice to ignore the item. He has now progressed to remaining focused even with substantial distraction. This is an excellent method for dogs who naturally find movement and noise exciting. This 1 minute video shows a few examples of Vincent ignoring distractions. https://youtu.be/i5JvFnorl3A
Instead of being asked to remain still for blow-drying, Vincent is allowed to play with his toy. Associating blow-drying with a fun game is important for a dog who will need a lot of blow drying in his life! In this one-minute video you can see how relaxed Vincent is about the sound and feel of the blow dryer. https://youtu.be/ibYmh6TGWUE
Online titling is very popular nowadays and is an excellent addition to regular competition. It is also a great option instead of competition (as it is less expensive than traveling to a regular competition, less time-consuming than attending an all-day or all-weekend competition, and is less intimidating for anxious dogs or less confident handlers). Here is a video of Vincent at 10 months, passing all 10 exercises in the FDSA TEAM 1 title. (Note - the video starts with about 15 seconds of play, before the exercises start.) https://youtu.be/jGuZSKgjLwQ
Vincent (8 month old standard poodle) practicing remaining in the heel position through forward, sideways and backwards steps, as well as 180 degree left and right turns.
Here's a quick video on how to acclimate your puppy or dog to a harness.
Sometimes videos like this use a confident dog or a stuffed toy, but you will notice in this video we demonstrate each step with an actual puppy that is initially quite wary of the harness. This will help you recognise the confidence level the pup must display at each level before proceeding.
Here's a video of Vincent (8 month old silver standard poodle) and Jericho (2 yo apricot standard poodle) practicing how to find the heel position with me stationary. You can see the better straightness in Jerry's sits compared to Vincent, who has only just started this exercise. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TW0od2iooU&feature=youtu.be
Sharon Carroll from Avanti Dog Training discusses strategies for choosing the right dog or puppy for your family. Considerations such as size, coat type, breed and purpose are discussed, as well as considerations relating to the timing of purchase.
Vincent (8 month old standard poodle) in his second session on dumbbell pick up. The criteria is very low at this stage - "pick up the dumbbell in the middle and hold it until I say YES" - then he can spit it out and have a treat. This will be shaped into a formal dumbbell retrieve for obedience competitions over the next few months.