Open & Utility Problem Solving Proofing FB group outline

starts first Monday of November

Runs for 1 month

Challenges, drills, and proofing
PDF’s to help with training

Proofing. Easy, mid range and hard – 1 open and 1 utility each week

Common problems open and utility


Welcome! ☺🐶

Looking forward to working with you all.
Please post something about you and your furry friend.
What problem are YOU having in Open/Utility.  What would you like to improve, etc.
The Zoom meeting will happen about 2 weeks into this group and the invite link will be posted under announcements.
The recording of the meeting will be available to view while the FB group is open.
Starting on 11/1/21, Monday, a Proofing idea on Open/Utility will be posted.
Also, each week, I will post challenges or drills that correspond with some of the training problems y’all have listed.
Please post video (limit 1-2 minutes) and questions in this group.
Please tag me on your post.  I don’t want to miss anything.


  • Energize out of crate – crate games
  • Keep a training/show log!
  • Attention putting on/taking off leash
  • Playing with your dog (tugging)
  • Don’t except anything that you don’t want in the ring.
  • The more you use your leash for correction the less control you have.
  • Video our training on a regular basis.
  • Train in NEW Locations
  • Add Games to EVERY training session and to every exercise. Games and random/often releases help build drive and enthusiasm.
  • Games to keep the dog interested and heeling fun (see heeling handout) Surprising commands or random releases to keep attention and attitude up


Post PDF training files




It’s time to get to work on problems.

First, please break down the exercise that is creating problems.

  • List the skills needed for the exercise.   Haha.  Yes write them down.
  • Circle the skill/s creating the issue.
  • Now that is done, lets’ review the foundations for the problem skill.
  • Please post list, problem skill/s, and video training the foundation of that skill/s.


Proofing – why proof and how … starting easy … building confidence …


  • Before you begin, your dog must be able confidently and correctly execute the exercise, skill or game you intend to proof.
  • A leash can be a valuable training tool. Using a leash during proofing may help you reach the level of control needed to insure your dog is successful.
  • In addition to rewarding your dog’s correct responses, learn to recognize and reward honest effort.
  • Recognize “inadvertent” proofing. When any new element is introduced during training, proofing may unintentionally occur. For example, inadvertent proofing commonly takes place when training is done in a new location or in the face of unknown distractions.  HAHA.  That cat running past you.
  • Choose proofing ideas you feel will be most beneficial for your dog at his current level of training.
  • Challenge your dog by training in a variety of locations and in various weather conditions on a regular basis.
  • When you are training in an unfenced or unfamiliar area, be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Look at proofing as a game and learn to “read” your dog. Increase or decrease the intensity of a distraction when needed. Your intent is to challenge your dog, but, at the same time, make it possible for him to respond correctly and win the game!
  • Begin proofing by training in mildly distracting areas. Once your dog is confident on a skill, train in locations that will create more of a challenge.
  • When starting to proof a skill/exercise for the first time, always start simple so your dog can be successful if  your dog to respond correctly.
  • Your dog being wrong is not a bad thing!!!!!

DOR Proofing

  • Walk away from your dog.  After you turn and face him, drop an object such as a set of keys, empty soda can, or hardcover book next to you.  Call your dog.  OR Call your dog and right before you drop him, drop object next to you then drop your dog.
  • Automatic doors can be found at many shopping centers. Great for when you are training alone.  Practice calling and or dropping your dog as he goes past the doors as they open and close.

Signal Proofing

  • Test your dog to see if he is paying close attention.  Instead of giving your signals in the same manner as you normally do, give more subtle signals.  If your signals are not quite as obvious, will your dog still respond to them?
  • Take your dog to an area where there is a great deal of activity such as a child’s sports activity or a playground where children are running and playing. Practice signals with your dog facing and also facing away from the commotion.

Questions?   Video and post.



Sequencing  skills together (2 at a time).

When starting to sequence skills always remember Rule #1 is never move on to the second skill if first skill doesn’t meet your criteria.  Example: if I am sequencing Articles.  My do is not focused on me while I scent the article.  Since lack of focus is not my criteria, I will go back and add games and training to the focus while scenting skill.   Haha.  Yes that is a skill.

It is your turn.

Pick an exercise to test.

  • Video as you sequence the exercise.
  • As you do your sequence, stop the sequence anytime your dog does not meet your criteria.
  • Did it happen?  If so when?








review exercise and how to break and reward












ring run through — how to use matches …