Set up – This week’s challenge is proofing or mixing up different skills. We made up NEW Rally signs and incorporated a dumbbell, glove, signals or tricks into some of the signs. This is a great way to ensure that you stay out of training “just an exercise”. Something out of the ordinary challenges you and your dog’s understanding of the skills. What fun!
Purpose – This drill reviews your dog’s knowledge of various skills. Mixing up these different skills tests your dog’s knowledge of them. This a a great way to proof the skills too!
Tips on success –
- Start easy. Combine the skills on the sign that your are confident your dog knows.
- Use a variety of skills per sign. Add as many signs as you want per session. Remember that your dog should preform any skill to you criteria. If he doesn’t, stop. Break that skill out and work on it by itself and then try to redo the sign again.
- During this drill, always be pro-active if your dog fails in a skill. i.e. don’t wait till your dog sits slowly numerous times but be prepared to speed your dog up for a slow sit the first time.
- As your dog gains an understanding of the game, increase the variety and number of signs you use and the number of skills you combine together.
- Keep your sessions fun by adding games between successful repetitions. It is not necessary for your dog to complete a sign to be rewarded. REWARD your dog for his effort.
- Remember to train in NEW LOCATIONS and with a variety of distractions.
Reward your dog – Anytime your dog performs the sequence of signs or skills to your criteria, reward him. Think about building desire and drive!
Different levels of testing – After you have successfully completed a combination of easy skills on a sign, “bump it up” a notch by adding different objects for your dog to carry, tricks to your signals or try combining skills such as your dog carrying an object such as a glove or dumbbell while heeling. As your dog gains confidence, add more variables and make the training more difficult. Always reward your dog for a job well done.
Goal – to build your dog’s confidence and understanding of the skills in a variety of ways and under different circumstances.