What is the difference between a skill and an exercise????
An exercise is something I am required to do in the ring. Drop on recall, heeling, sign in rally, agility course etc. All of these are exercises. Things we are required to do at shows.
Skills are individual tricks I teach my dog. As my dog learns more tricks, I can start combining tricks that will be combined together to complete an exercise at a show.
Think of all “exercises” as nothing more than a bunch of tricks chained together!
When training, I teach skills. I break down any exercise I might need for a show and teach all the skills separately. Once my dog is proficient with the skill, I start to mix and match what I may need for a ring performance but I also mix and match just to be random and test my dogs knowledge and understanding of all the skills.
My point is for you to start thinking out of the “exercise box”. (Don’t just train exercises.)
Start training skills/tricks. Proof and perfect to meet your criteria (which you should set high). Mix and match skills, test your dogs knowledge and have fun!!!