Open & Utility Proofing FB group outline

Starts first Monday of July and runs for 5 weeks

Challenges and proofing each week

Proofing.  starting easy gradually working to hard – 1 open and 1 utility each week

Common problems open and utility proofed


Monday post

A few housekeeping notes while we wait for everyone to log in to the group.
When posting videos in the class, limit them to 1-2 minutes and TAG me on all posts.  I don’t want to miss anything.  Also, limit to 1 dog in the class.

When a Zoom meeting is scheduled, the invite link will be posted under announcements/featured section of the Facebook group a few days before the zoom.   A recording of the meeting will be available to view while the FB group is open.

Starting Tuesday 7/2, we will begin Proofing ideas for Open & Utility.   Ideas, drills, etc. will be posted  2 days a week throughout this group.   1 on Tuesday and 1 on Thursday   Please post problems or success and or videos on this FB group.   Remember to tag me on all posts.

Please note:  If you have questions about How to TRAIN or Games for any Open or Utility skills, please see the Self-Sever/DIY Classes.

I am looking forward to working with you all. 

Tuesday post
Everyone post a  list of any situations, or exercises that is tough or distracting to you dog.

This list will “drive” the group so EVERYONE please post.

Keep your list to short text and bullet points such as:

  • Dog gets distracted when other dos are near
  • Can’t function on articles if a judge is close
  • Won’t retrieve DB near a baby gate.

You have until Friday of this week to post your list.




post and PDF

Reminders when PROOFING

  • Before you begin to proof, 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!!!!!



Thursday – 

Easy proofing today to kick off our proofing.
Let’s start with the get it game and add in proofing to help introduce the correct way to proof a skill.

As with all proofing, your dog must know the skill BEFORE starting proofing.

First – review the get it game

Once you know your dog understands your criteria for the game, we will start adding the following in this order.   Do not progress to the next until your dog has confidence on the current.

TOSS your get it game treats:

  • near empty bowl
  • tossing under table or chair
  • a person standing or sitting near,

video and post what you are proofing and how it went.

Problems or success?

Once we get videos, we can start making the proofing tougher

new locations good add on


list 2 easy proofing ideas from list students post – 1 for open/Tuesday and 1 for utility/Thursday

video and post what you are proofing and how it went.

Problems or success?

great way to test your dogs knowledge of skills in exercises is to mix them up


Blending exercises – OPEN

  • retrieve on flat adding a drop when your dog is coming back
  • preplace a db behind your dog 6-8′.   Set your dog up with his back to db.   Practice CD skill and add a retrieve after a skill.
  • Set your dog up for a bj.    As you leave and get to the side of the bj, tell your dog to jump.  Continue walking forward and as your dog lands say heel.



Blending exercises – Utility

direct jump    Add a drop after jump

articles one side, gloves on other   Side    You and dog center   Pivot for one, front, return heel and send for next

signals.  On recall add a dorecall




list 2 easy proofing ideas from list students post – 1 for open/Tuesday and 1 for utility/Thursday



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.



Thursday Proofing 

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.



list 2 easy proofing ideas from list students post – 1 for open/Tuesday and 1 for utility/Thursday




Week 5

list 2 easy proofing ideas from list students post – 1 for open/Tuesday and 1 for utility/Thursday