Set up – This week’s challenge is practicing the dumbbell (DB) hand-off while maintaining attention from your dog. It is important to practice how you will take or give back the DB and how your dog will maintain attention and focus on you.
Purpose – This drill teaches your dog to focus on you when handing the DB to or taking the DB from the judge.
Tips on success –
- If needed, use a mirror to watch your dog if you are not going to be looking at your dog during the DB hand-off.
- Remind your dog how to be successful if he is having difficulty focusing on you.
- Play games and use non-verbal attention getters in order to maintain attention. Note: continually corrected, the situation of the hand-off will become unpleasant.
- Practice giving the DB to someone else as well.
- Take time to build your dog’s desire and enthusiasm when getting the DB. Stop and reward your dog for his effort.
- Remember to reward for your dog for focusing on you.
- Add a variety of releases and rewards. Keep your sessions fun by adding loads of games!
Reward your dog – Anytime your dog keeps focused on you during a hand-off. Think about building your dog’s desire and drive to ignore distractions.
Different levels of testing – After you have successfully practiced the DB hand-off, “bump it up” a notch by adding different angles that your helper approaches from or even dropping the DB. As your dog gains confidence, add more variables and make the hand-offs more challenging. Always reward your dog for a job well done.
Goal – to build your dog’s confidence and ability to maintain attention when the DB is being handed to you.
***Do you need to improve your OPEN ring performance?
Come and join the Open Problem Solving Class