Go-Outs Classroom

 
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Pockets (or closed pouch to put treats into) with a big enough opening for your dog’s nose to fit in to eat treats.

PDF Files to help your training!
Problem Solving PDF
Training Log PDF
Points to Remember PDF

Questions? Click to Email

Visualization
text
STEPS TO SUCCESS

Visualization of the skill

To ensure successful go-outs, teach a solid “look” command, build drive, and have a controlled sit. A solid “look” means that on command (i.e., LOOK), the dog drops his gaze and looks STRAIGHT ahead. Build drive for the dog to leave your side on command (i.e., GO, AWAY, etc.) and run straight ahead. The dog should continue to run straight UNTIL you tell the dog to either SIT or GET-IT at the Go-Out location. In teaching the Go-Out, your dog will learn to:

  • Look at the stanchion
  • Run straight ahead on your Go-out command (i.e., “go”, “away,” etc.)
  • Continue to run straight until you say “get-it” to an item on the stanchion.
  • Continue to run straight as you add distance to the go out and to do this exercise as you add new locations to the exercise.
  • SIT on command anywhere and anytime. Teach the turn and sit separately i.e. teach a controlled sit.
  • Add sits to the go-outs.

Level 1: Teaching the “look”

THE LOOK command means to look out straight to the stanchion a few feet ahead of you. (Any word maybe used that is not used for other training.)

Initially use squeeze cheese or something soft and sticky to mark the go-out spot (usually a ring gate stanchion, pole of a fence or post or anything that resembles an upright).

Put a small piece of squeeze cheese on the stanchion just a bit higher than the dog’s head (we want dog’s head up when going to spot). Point to the cheese with your finger of your right hand (do not move your finger away until dog is moving to stanchion and palm the cheese can so that the dog sees your finger and not the can).

Give dog the “look” command and then whatever command (“GO”, “AWAY”, etc.) you will be using to tell the dog to leave your side and run straight forward to the Go-out spot,. Have him go to the stanchion and as he approaches tell him to “get it” (this command will be replaced by a sit command later). IMPORTANT: encourage your dog to run out, grab treat and turn tightly and run back to you for a game. This will help you get a tight turn later when adding the sit.

Over a number of training sessions, gradually remove your hand from the picture (weaning off the point) by pointing further away from the cheese after you have applied the cheese.

Always stay close (4 feet or less) until you have a solid, confident “look.” (Distance is not the goal, the LOOK is!)

Final goal before moving to next step is your dog being next to you in heel position until you give the command to “look” and your dog drops his head directly pointing and looking at the stanchion.
[leadplayer_vid id=”52017C52A66F5″] TIPS

  • Dog learns to LOOK at spot without pointing
  • Dog moves quickly to spot on command
  • Dog gets treat off of spot and TURNS tightly back to run to owner

Level 2: Adding the pocket

Pockets –

Light pockets are easily seen on a dark stanchion and difficult on a light stanchion. Dark pockets are easy to see on a light stanchion and difficult on a dark stanchion. Pockets are loaded with yummy treats with an opening big enough for his nose to fit in and eat treats.

Introduce the “pocket” to your dog

Put treats in pocket and toss it on the floor. Encourage your dog to pick it up and bring it to you. Open the pocket and let your dog dive his nose in to get some treats. Repeat a few times to complete the introduction.

Next, stand close to the stanchion (pole or wall, whatever is used in your area), toss the pocket on the ground at the bottom of the stanchion and send the dog to pick it up giving your GET-IT command. Encourage your dog to bring the pocket back to you, opening it when he gets to you and letting him dive into opened pocket to get a few treats. (Playing tug with pocket is good reward as well for many dogs.)

Let your dog watch you “load” (placing pockets between gate and stanchion) the spot with 4 or more pockets. (Having more than one pocket teaches your dog to “mark” an area WITHOUT your going back and marking it, i.e. putting something on spot each time.) Use sticky tape if needed to stick pockets to walls, garage doors, etc. Let your dog retrieve one pocket at a time making it “urgent” for him to grab a pocket and get back to you fast. This step is just to teach your dog to run quickly, grab and get back to you.

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Level 3: Adding the Pieces and Building Distance

Start each session up close a few feet from the stanchion. Command your dog to “look” “go” and then “get it.”

These commands are all separate.

“LOOK = look straight out to the spot”,

GO = run out as fast as you can to spot,

GET IT = grab a pocket and get back to me quickly.

Each time your dog gets a pocket, take a step back as the dog returns to you (this helps to build distance with each repetition). IMPORTANT: make coming back to urgent! This will ensure a tight turn for your sit later. To increase drive, try saying “ready, ready, go” then pop your dog’s rear as he is leaving.

Do not start to gain distance from the stanchion on the first repetition until your dog can look straight at the stanchion on your first command. Continually check the distance you can start the go-out and the dog still be successful.

When your dog is 80-90% accurate looking straight and holding the look, running out quickly, grabbing the pocket and turning tight, you are ready to start gaining distance.

Load the spot, with 4-6 pockets. (Remember this teaches an independent LOOK, dog finds spot on his own without help from you.) Start at the last successful distance. Each time your dog goes out and gets a pocket, step back to gain distance as well as build drive. Ideally you want to work to 50-60 feet (more than you will need in the ring). Continue to work on your dog running out and turning as quickly as possible.

Do Not send your dog if he doesn’t lock on to “go-out” spot when he drops his head. If needed, simplify and move up closer to spot. Only with success and a great “look” should you continue to gain distance!

Problem solving

If your dog starts to arch or veer off the direct line to the go-out spot, try one of the following:

Add mid-shoots or rulers near the gating and about 8 feet away from the gating.

Use string laid out in a runway path.

If your dog marks then looks back to you, mark inappropriate behavior and give them the “look” command again. Ideally, you do want to lengthen the duration your dog looks at go-out spot before putting together with jumping.

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TIPS

  • Go to a lot of new locations and use a variety of spots for go-outs.
  • Use multiple pockets on the stanchion so you don’t have to keep going back to load.
  • Once your dog has grabbed a pocket, make sure he returns back to you quickly.
  • DO build duration that your dog holds the “look”.

Corrections

If your dog stops or goes off to one side or the other:

  1. Mark the incorrect response and stop the repetition.
  2. Take the dog to the area they went off the correct line.
  3. Gently take their head and muzzle. Point nose so that they can see the pocket/spot.
  4. Walk calmly and slowly towards the spot with the dog to the spot.
  5. Repeat “look, go out” when you get close to the spot.
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Level 4: Blind pockets

As your dog gains precision and confidence with the “look” and “go-out”, it is time to start weaning off or making the pockets less visible. Put out pockets on stanchions etc. before getting your dog out to train. This way the dog does not see me put the pockets out. When starting this training, start out close (6-10 feet) and take a couple of steps back after each go out. Do not move back if your dog does not look immediately at the go out spot on your look command.

Do Not send your dog if he doesn’t lock on to “go-out” spot when he drops his head. If needed, simplify and move up closer to spot. Only with success and a great “look” should you continue to gain distance.

Corrections

If your dog looks at wrong location, stops forward motion when going out or goes off to one side or the other:

  1. Mark the incorrect response and stop the repetition.
  2. Take the dog to the area they went off the correct line.
  3. Gently take their head and muzzle. Point nose so that they can see the pocket/spot.
  4. Walk calmly and slowly towards the spot with the dog to the spot.
  5. Repeat “look, go out” when you get close to the spot.

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TIPS

  • If the dog has a problem going straight, use guides such as Rulers, Chalk lines or Wire about 4’ apart (build a runway for the dog to run through.)
  • Always have pockets out on the stanchion but over time make the pockets less visible to the dog (i.e., smaller, same color as the stanchion, hide pockets behind the stanchion, etc.)

Level 5: Fast independent sits

The faster your dog sits, the better the go-out. Here are a few training ideas/games to teach and perfect fast independent sits.

Games for a Fast sit –

Get It Game – Toss a toy or treat out about 10-15’ from you. Send your dog with a Get It command. On the first rep, tell your dog to sit immediately upon leaving you. If he sits, praise and reward by either throwing or giving him a treat or toy. If he continues to move towards the thrown object, use a non-reward marker and stop the repetition. Go get your dog, take him to where he was to sit and place him in a sit. Praise him but no reward. Try the game again stopping your dog a bit closer to you. Make sure you mix and match once you are getting a great sit. Sometimes have your dog sit and other times no sit and let him get the treat or toy.

Cookie Toss game adding a random sit as your dog is running to the thrown treat.

Heeling game – while heeling, tell your dog to do a moving sit making sure your dog stops promptly.

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Level 6: Adding the sit

Before adding the sit, make sure you have a controlled sit in a variety of locations and situations. Also, your dog should be able to “look” on the first time commanded and without any help from you as well as running straight out to the spot at a distance of more than 15’.

When adding the sit, start close to the go-out spot before increasing distance. Randomly have your dog either SIT or GET IT. DO NOT do both in the same repetition. Watch to ensure your dog is running out fast and straight and turning quickly. Add more “get its” if you feel your dog is slowing down or losing drive. It is all about balancing between the two.

Once your dog understands how and when to sit, mix-up the sit, get it or even doing a couple of sits in a go-out. Keep it interesting and FUN!

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TIPS

  • If the dog has a problem going straight, use guides such as Rulers, Chalk lines or Wire about 4’ apart (build a runway for the dog to run through.)
  • Do not do a GET IT and a SIT on a single go-out, always one or the other.
  • Always have pockets out on the stanchion but over time make the pockets less visible to the dog (i.e., smaller, same color as the stanchion, hide pockets behind the stanchion, etc.) and place pockets out BEFORE you get your dog to train.
  • You must have total control of the sit. Use the cookie toss game to get the dog away from you and then tell the dog to sit before he gets to the treat.

Proofing

The following are some proofing ideas from “Success is in the Proofing”. The book covers the how to’s and why’s of proofing for all levels from Novice to Utility.

Here are a few ideas;

Once the dog is 90% correct on go outs, start proofing.

  • Do a #1 or #3 glove, then a go-out, then a glove, then a go-out
  • Set some cups to the right or left, then do a go out
  • Make sure to do go-outs to blank walls or any other barrier you can think of.
  • To proof, tell the dog to sit at different places along the GO OUT line!

Note: if your dog makes a mistake, mark the error and show your dog how to be correct. Start with easy proofing and gradually add difficulty as your dog becomes a STAR.

PDF Files to help your training!
Problem Solving PDF
Training Log PDF
Points to Remember PDF

Questions? Click to Email

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