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Play with me. Work with me.

Play with me. Work with me.

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Matilda's fantastic sit stay this afternoon in front of a jump is not the usual behavior I see.  I have to find ways to get her to keep her focus with me while doing agility.  She loves agility, can hardly wait for her turn, but when her turn comes she resists holding the start line sit and later when the sequence ends or there's a break in the sequence to fix something, off she goes. I have an easier time now than I used to getting her back with me, but this is still a big problem.

Two good ideas to remember from classes this week. 
1.  From Terri on Tuesday:  have two toys.  If she takes off with one have an even better one in reserve to lure her back.  The Two Toy Game

2.  From Judy on Wednesday:  Be careful what you reward.  Don't just reward her with a toy when she runs off and then comes back. Then running off becomes a fun thing to do.  Reward the obstacles and short sequences within the longer one so that they all have value.

I get stressed when she doesn't sit stay or when she takes off during a sequence or I think she might take off.  When I'm not at agility class I need to find ways for her to practice staying engaged with me, having her enjoy staying engaged with me. I need to build confidence that she will stay with me, play with me, work with me.

Fun Ways to Stay Engaged:  Tricks and Games

  • go left
  • go right
  •  back up
  • paw
  • high five
  • bow
  • roll over
  • perch
  • jump over arms
  • tug
  • retrieve
  • two toy retrieve
  • hide and seek
  • recall
  • recall with hide and seek
  • go to mat
  • give me a break
  • whiplash turns
  • go to crate/ come out of crate
  • doggie zen
  • leave it
  • look at that
  • off-switch game
  • speak/ quiet
  • agility obstacles: jumps, weaves, tunnel (as singles or in sequence)
  • sit stays/sit stays with jumps
  • sit stays with toys/ sit stays with jumps and toys
  • I'm gonna get your butt
  • fun stalking, tail, toe grabbing, growl, push her gently, blow in her face

  • most of these seem a little more about obedience training than play

    but then i guess iits more in how you do it? like a game interspersed with commands or totally serious... anyway,
    what about:
    the i'm gonna git yer butt game?

    and here's a copyandpaste from that new S Garrett ebook:

    4. Playing just because
    Making a game from nothing at all
    Play with your dog!
    Initiate a fun game with your dog anytime the opportunity arises, not just when you
    are training something.
    You don't always need to have a
    toy either! Simply push the dog
    away in a playful way, blow in h
    face, gently pull his tail, grab his
    toes, growl at him, or slowly 'stalk'
    him by staring at him as you walk
    stiffly towards him. Your dog ma
    be tentative at first, especially if
    you have never done anything like
    this previously, but before you
    know it, he will begin to love it.
    Once your dog gets into the game,
    introduce the contingency of a sit
    or a down before releasing him. Then begin the game again. This will build intensity
    and value for your control positions.

    Edited at 2009-07-23 02:04 pm (UTC)
    • Re: most of these seem a little more about obedience training than play

      Yes, I meant to put the Get your Butt game on the list. I was just listing ways of being interactive. I'll add these Susan Garett ideas, too.
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