Ready Set Go Classroom

 
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WELCOME TO CLASS

Over the next 4 weeks, I am going to teach you my secrets, drills, and training methods to teach, improve, and proof your _________________.

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IntroductionHow to TrainGamesSequencingProofing
Description of Exercise/Skill: The Ready, Set, Go games (RSG) encourage your dog’s focus and intensity, and help build and maintain his drive. Use these games when practicing recalls, stands, signals, and the broad jump. When training for agility, use these games when leaving your dog for the first obstacle, during a stay on the table or a stop on the contacts. Use a variety of these games, and vary the distance you are from your dog when practicing them. Sometimes be a distance and other times be just a few feet. Variety will keep your dog on his toes!

Review the information and suggestions for the “Get it Games” before starting to teach the RSG games. If your dog gets a treat from the ground, he should be taught to pick it up and return to you quickly for another treat or toy. The quicker your dog receives the reinforcement, the more drive is built in your dog. Take your time to teach all these games and use them for the career of your dog.

Visualization
Ideally, you want to see your dog become intensely focused on you when are lining him up and leaving him. When you look at your dog, you want to see a dog that is ready to bolt off his position (an active state) and get to you as soon as possible. Overall you want to see a dog that can’t cannot wait to get to you to engage in a game with you.

________________ Forum – Place to ask questions and post YouTube videos! This is a PRIVATE group only for _______ participants.

Questions will be answered until ———-.

_________ Training Log
PDF Points to remember

Questions? Ask DebbyQ

PDF Files to help your training!

Points to remember RSG
Training Log RSG

STEPS TO SUCCESS

Before you begin check out equipment you may need for the class.

End Goal – For your dog to stay in an “active” state while you leave him and then run and to you quickly, with enthusiasm, and without any extra motion or verbal commands from you. An “active” state is a dog ready to go, on his toes, ears forward and waiting the next command. This skill should become a HABIT.

Incorporate these games during your training whenever you leave your dog in a sit, down or stand.

Teaching the skill

Level 1 – leaving your dog
Put food in right or left hand, hidden from dog. Try each of the following games one at a time.  Anytime you start to teach a new game, release the dog while you are still close to your dog.  Over time and training sessions, build distance you go from your dog before releasing with a game.  As with all training, leave your dog at a random distance once your dog knows the game.

Reminder
All releases are quick and unexpected.  Keep your dog guessing and surprise him with any release.
  • Tell your dog to sit and without stepping away from his side, release your dog up to a treat/toy in your hand. This will improve your line-ups and attention.
  • Tell your dog to sit. Take 1 or 2 steps away from your dog, then turn and quickly release your dog up to a toy/treat.
  • Tell your dog to sit. Leave your dog, then quickly turn and toss a treat/toy to your dog.
  • Tell your dog to sit. Leave your dog. While your back is to your dog, toss a toy/treat to back him.
  • Tell your dog to sit. Leave your dog. Turn towards your dog and immediately call your dog then run away. When your dog catches up, release him up to a toy/treat.
  • Tell your dog to sit. Leave your dog. After going 3-10 feet from your dog, crouch and then run off. As your crouch, give your dog his release word. When your dog catches up to you, release him up to a toy or treat.
  • Tell your dog to sit. Leave, crouch and throw a treat/toy off to the right or left. When he catches up to you, release him up for a treat or play tug with the toy.
  • Tell your dog to sit. Leave your dog. Without turning towards your dog, crouch and call him between your legs with a toy/treat. After he gets the initial toy/treat, have him return to you and play tug or have him jump up for a treat.
  • Tell your dog to sit. Walk away from your dog and with your back to your dog, bring your hand(s) out to the left and present a toy/treat. Tell your dog to “get it” without turning around or stopping.
  • VARY DISTANCE YOU are from your dog when doing a game, RELEASE/THROW/INTERACT WITH YOUR DOG.
  • Use a consequence when your dog is not giving 100% effort or looses attention. Tell your dog to “get it” when he is not looking or has gotten distracted. The second he looks back or focuses on you, start to tease him and say something like “ha ha you missed it.” Tease him a bit (be theatrical) with the toy/treat but don’t let him have it. Repeat the skill that he lost focus and reward him if he gives more effort and focus.
*Reminder
Games are played spontaneously and at varied distances and in different locations.  Use a consequence when your dog is not giving 100% effort or looses attention. 

Level 2 – facing and calling your dog

These games encourage focus and speed from your dog while he is approaching you. They can also be used when you call your dog to you out of a tunnel, after a sequence of obstacles or when training retrieves, articles, signals, or the moving stand. Practice an assortment of the following games at varied distances as your dog comes to you.

  1. As soon as your dog is close to you, surprise him by releasing him to jump up to a toy or leash and play tug.
  2. As your dog is coming toward you, take him by surprise by throwing a toy/treat at him.
  3. While your dog is approaching, disappear around a corner. End with a game of tug or have him jump up for a treat.
  4. As soon as your dog is close to you, toss a treat or toy between your legs and send him for it.
  5. As your dog approaches, quickly turn and run from your dog. Greet him with a game of tug when he catches up to you.
  6. Use a consequence when your dog is not giving 100% effort or looses attention. Tell your dog to “get it” when he is not looking or has gotten distracted. The second he looks back or focuses on you, start to tease him and say something like “ha ha you missed it.” Tease him a bit (be theatrical) with a toy/treat but don’t let him have it. Repeat the skill he lost focus and simplify if needed. i.e. release or reward closer to you.  Reward him if he gives more effort and focus.
*Reminder
Incorporate these games during training after you have called your dog and he is coming to you. This may be during an Obedience Exercise, Rally Exercise or an Agility Sequence. 

  • If you throw treats, throw one treat at a time, and throw treats that will not break apart. As soon as your dog returns to you, reward him by praising him and feeding him multiple treats or playing a game of tug.
  • When your dog is sent for a treat/toy, he should be taught to pick it up quickly, turn tightly and return to you promptly and directly. Be motivating and demanding!
  • Vary the distance your dog is from you when you begin a game!
  • Be creative, imaginative and spontaneous during training!
  • Play games routinely to help maintain your dog’s focus and drive.
  • Do not use a game to “speed your dog up!” Instead, play games spontaneously—when your dog least expects it.
  • Balance game play according to your dog’s needs.
  • Use a consequence when your dog is not giving 100% effort or loses attention.

Your dog will not release when you say to “get it”.  Many times it takes the dog a few repetitions to learn the the “get it” is a release. Encourage your dog by repeating the command and running to the treat/toy if thrown and pointing at it.  He will learn the game quickly.

Your dog looks around and is not focused on you. Your dog might not understand the fun of the game. Reduce the distance you leave your dog before playing game. Only increase distance once you have built desire to intently watch you as you leave.

Your dog becomes distracted by his environment or other people/dogs.  Use the “you missed it” game.  tease and taunt him with the toy/treat.  Reduce the distance or the distraction and try the RSG game again.  Loads of reward for effort and attention!

End Goal – For your dog to drill a hole in your back with his eyes as you leave him. Also to wait on the stationary position in an “active” state until called.  Lastly, to run in an excited, fast and intense manner when called.

Before progressing to your next class –

Stay in an “active” state while you are leaving?

Run to you with enthusiasm when released?

Releases off the sit quickly when “get it” is given?

If the answer is no to any of the above question you might need to spend more time on this game.

For some proofing ideas see “Success is in the Proofing”.

The book covers the how to’s and why’s of proofing for all levels from Novice to Utility.

 

PDF Files to help your training!

Points to remember RSG
Training Log RSG
Problem solving pdf

Enjoy teaching and playing this exhilarating game with your dog!

Questions? Click to Email

Training Preparation:

•Use high value food to help encourage and motivate your dog.
•Make sure the treats are small and soft that your dog is able to pick them up and eat them very quickly.
•Use a type of food that will not break apart and can be easily seen on the ground. For example, if the ground is a dark color, use a light colored food.
•Avoid tossing the treat into grass or any other surface that is littered with leaves, rocks or other debris. If your dog has a hard time locating the treat after your have thrown it, it will delay your dog’s response.
•Use caution while playing the cookie toss game out of doors in an area which is not enclosed with a fence.
•Variety of toys.
food
toys to use

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Visualization for games.

The following games help build your dog’s attitude, drive, and focus. Look for your dog’s enthusiasm and intensity to increase as you randomly add these games to every heeling session. These games MUST be a surprise and used randomly while heeling. Use more when introducing the games and then balance what your dog needs to maintain or build drive and focus.

As you add the games to heeling, look for your dog to give you signs of anticipation of a game to start. He will become more alert and focused on you.

NOTE: Remember to reward WHERE you want your dog to be. In this case it will be heel position.

Teaching the games.

***Make sure you incorporate these games during all heeling sessions.

Level 1 – Introducing to your dog.

While the following games can be played while your dog is heeling, begin with your dog either in a sit or a stand in heel position. Repeat each game several times until your dog is comfortable and responding quickly before going to the next game.
•Push and run away or push and play.
•Release up in heel position for treat or toy.
•Release with a toy, pocket or treat thrown over your head down to heel position.
•Drop a toy or pocket to your dog that was held under your left arm.
•Hide a toy in your hand and toss it quickly to surprise your dog.
•Hide a treat or toy in your right hand and quickly deliver it by moving your hand and arm close to and across the front of your body.
•Toy appears from behind your back (this is great for forgers)
•Touch the left hand becoming touch left thumb. When taught, use a signal only (this is a great way to keep your dog’s attention and head up while heeling.)
•Spin and return to heel.
[leadplayer_vid id=”51BE681895AE5″] Level 2 – One way focus (stationary).

Encourage focus and drive from your dog when you are not looking at him! Look away for a varied amount of time (seconds to start with then gradually building to minutes) and then initiate any of the heeling games. You are looking for your dog to stare at you regardless of where you are looking. I find that using mirrors are great for this step.

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showing how to add to and sequence into various skills for both obed, rally and agility

Level 3 – On the move.
Now that your dog has been introduced to the games and will focus on you with or without you looking at him, it is time to add a new game.

“U-missed-it” Game

When playing this game the first couple of times, say “get it” to your dog to let your dog know where the treat/toy is coming from. At this stage it is ok for your dog to go after the treat/toy. Once your dog understands this game, when your dog is not looking, drop a treat/toy and play the “u-missed-it game”. Push your dog out of the way or beat your dog to the treat/toy. Immediately tease him with the treat/toy by playing up the fact the you have the treat/toy and your dog has missed out on the most fabulous thing in the world! Play with the treat/toy or pretend to eat it. On the next repetition, make sure your dog is correct. You should see some effort from your dog.

Start all games in a straight line and in slow pace. As your dog becomes proficient with the games and the attention they create, proceed to heel at the various paces of heeling you will need, slow, normal and fast.
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Proofing – Consistent, fair, and resourceful proofing will help your dog understand he must perform the exercises to your specifications regardless of what the distractions or conditions may be. These moves are great for testing your dog’s focus and position knowledge.

Many ideas can be found in “Success is in the Proofing”. The book covers the how to’s and why’s of proofing for all levels from Novice to Utility.

Try these out of the ordinary moves to keep your dog alert:
• Heel in slow pace followed immediately by fast pace.
• Play a “get it game” and then quickly fall into heeling.
• Suddenly freeze your motion and surprise your dog. Will your dog stop and sit?
• Gradually fade into or away from your dog. Will your dog fade with you remaining in heel?
• Execute an about turn followed by several steps backward.
• Try a moving sit or moving drop during heeling at any pace.

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Important points to remember;
•Keep your dog’s interest by varying the distance you heel, and randomly surprising him with games and releases.
•Reward your dog’s effort by playing and interacting after each release.
•When using treats or toys during heeling, reward your dog where you would like him to be.
•Spit a treat or drop a toy or pocket on a change of direction to encourage focus and drive.

•Use a consequence when your dog is not giving 100% effort or looses attention.