Proofing Perfect Study Group

Proofing Perfect study group

14 days

 

Day 1 – welcome and tell me a bit about you and your dog

Zoom link for Saturday

To teach your dog the proofing game, we will start with the Get It Game.

https://debbyquigley.com/get-it-game/get-it-game-class/

 

 

Day 2 – Saturday – ZOOM presentation – pdf files – “What is Proofing.PDF”

What is proofing –

Proofing: A technique used during training to change the appearance or configuration of any part of a skill or exercise in order to test the dog understands and knowledge.

 

When you add proofing into a training session you are attempting to recreate mistakes or responses your dog may unexpectedly offer in training or at a show.  Recreating distracting conditions or situations is a common form of proofing.

 

I want my dog to be wrong so I can explain how to be correct.

 

Consistent, fair, and imaginative proofing will help your dog understand he must perform the skills/exercises to your specifications regardless of what the distractions or conditions may be.

 

How to proof successfully

  • Your dog must be confident and understand the skill you intend to proof.
  • Recognize “inadvertent” proofing. Any new element that is introduced during training.  For example, inadvertent proofing commonly takes place when training is done in a new location.
  • Choose proofing ideas that is most beneficial for your dog at his current level of training. Visual, people, sounds, etc.
  • Challenge your dog by training in a variety of locations and in various weather conditions on a regular basis.
  • 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.
  • Watch for signs that your dog is becoming overly stressed. Behaviors such as yawning, lip licking, holding ears back, or raising a front paw are obvious signs of stress.
  • If at any time during training you see any of stress signs, alleviate your dog’s anxiety with a break and play KK or tug.
  • Once your dog is able to execute a skill properly and confidently, challenge him by introducing a new distraction or by increasing the difficultly OR intensity of the existing distraction.
  • Take time to train in the presence of everything that your dog may find rewarding or pleasurable. This specific type of proofing will help your dog to concentrate on his job even when toys, food, friends, family, and other canine companions are nearby.
  • When proofing with food or toys, occasionally release your dog and tell him to “get” the distraction. BUT not if he is thinking or focused on the distraction.
  • When using a specific object, another dog, or a person to distract your dog, always begin by positioning them a comfortable distance from your dog.
  • Proof all skills and exercises your dog will be expected to perform while in the ring. This includes games and transition skills.
  • In addition to rewarding your dog’s correct responses, learn to recognize and reward honest effort.
  • If your dog is not giving effort, add a Consequence. It can be simply taking your dog’s collar and showing him HOW to be correct.
  • REMEMBER – No rewards are given if you had to correct your dog BUT DO give your dog another chance to be right to earn rewards.
  • Too much proofing can be as unproductive as not enough.

 

Think more of teaching the dog how to deal with the distraction instead of proofing the distraction.

 

Biggest issues with proofing are:

 

  • Not proofing at all because a trainer wants their dog to be right.
  • Doing too much or too fast making dog unconfident.
  • Thinking you have to recreate the exact situation/environment (lots of people to recreate ring stress because he is ‘perfect’ in training).
  • Trainer helping too much instead of giving the dog the responsibility for doing the skill.

Over the next days, we will start to learn how proof.

It is important to video your sessions so the YOU can learn to read your dog.

Posts will be made each day and saved to “Featured/announcements”

I’m looking forward to this journey to Proofing with y’all.

To teach your dog the proofing game, we will start with the Get It Game.

https://debbyquigley.com/get-it-game/get-it-game-class/

 

 

Day 3 – Intro learning proofing to your dog.

To teach your dog the proofing game, we will start with the Get It Game.

https://debbyquigley.com/get-it-game/get-it-game-class/

 

Get it Game:

  • Do a simple Get It Game with a short toss and no distractions. We are checking for solid foundations and criteria.  Fast out, snatches treat, fast back.
  • Make it as easy as possible for the dog to be correct. *LOTS OF REWARDS*
  • Next add a chair to the picture. Toss a treat under the chair.   Send your dog once the treat stops moving.
    • Does your dog meet criteria? Fast out, snatches treat, fast back.
    • If no, simplify a little. Toss the treat next to the chair OR decrease the distance between you and the chair.  Send your dog and reward for correct response.
    • Repeat the toss under the chair again. Can your dog meet your criteria? Reward for correct response.
    • Continue to toss the treat around and under objects, increasing the game when your dog is correct 90% of the time. That is increasing the difficulty or the distance.
    • The dog’s effort gets LOTS OF REWARDS; this will build up your dog’s ego and confidence.
    • On the flip side, make sure you are not luring or “helping” your dog. Let him learn to do the skill I the face of proofing.
    • REMINDER – Effort is not always perfection.

 

Day 4  –  New locations

Today we will start to add New Locations to the Get It Game.   The new location should be low distractions.  This can be in your front or back yard, a training build or parking lot with minimum people or distractions.

A simple toss could be out in an open area where a harder toss could be toward or under an object or wall or bushes.

  • Do a Get It Game in the new location.
  • We are looking for criteria. Fast out, snatches treat, fast back.
  • Make it as easy as possible for the dog to be correct with a short toss out in the open before increasing distance or tossing closer to objects.
  • *LOTS OF REWARDS* for effort and success.
  • Next, while in the same new area. Toss a treat in a different direction OR further from you OR closer to objects.   Send your dog once the treat stops moving.
    • Does your dog meet criteria? Fast out, snatches treat, fast back.
    • If no, simplify a little. Toss the treat a shorter distance.  Send your dog and reward for correct response.
    • Repeat the toss with distance again. Can your dog meet your criteria? Reward for correct response.
    • Continue to toss the treat in the new area, increasing the game when your dog is correct 90% of the time.
    • The dog’s effort gets LOTS OF REWARDS; this will build up your dog’s ego and confidence.
    • On the flip side, make sure you are not luring or “helping” your dog. Let him learn to do the skill I the face of proofing.
    • REMINDER – Effort is not always perfection.

Proofing in new locations is a gradual thing.  Make sure dog is focused and engaged. If they give effort always reward.

Break and play often so your dog has a “brain” break and can relax.  This will help alleviate any stress that might be building.

 

Day 5 – People/dog proofing

Today we will start to add people either sitting in a chair, standing, walking, or running.

A simple toss could be toward a person sitting in a chair or standing still.

Bumping up would be a person walking or waiving arms or running past, toward or away from you.

  • Do a Get It Game toward the person.
  • We are looking for criteria. Fast out, snatches treat, fast back.
  • Make it as easy as possible for the dog to be correct with a short toss further from the person.
  • *LOTS OF REWARDS* for effort and success.
  • Next, with the same person, toss a treat closer OR have the person start to move OR have her waiving her arms. Send your dog once the treat stops moving.
    • Does your dog meet criteria? Fast out, snatches treat, fast back.
    • If no, simplify a little. Toss the treat further from the person or decrease the distance between you and the person.  Send your dog and reward for correct response.
    • Repeat the toss again. Can your dog meet your criteria? Reward for correct response.
    • Continue to toss the treat toward the person, Bumping up the game when your dog is correct 90% of the time.
    • The dog’s effort gets LOTS OF REWARDS; this will build up your dog’s ego and confidence.
    • On the flip side, make sure you are not luring or “helping” your dog. Let him learn to do the skill I the face of proofing.

 

Add a dog to your proofing only once your dog is comfortable with a number of people in different situations.  When proofing with another dog, have the dog stationary, either sitting or lying-in down or with a person, standing still, moving and then playing/training.

Proofing with people and dogs is a gradual thing.  Take your time and build our dog’s confidence in all situations.

Break and play often so your dog has a “brain” break and can relax.  This will help alleviate any stress that might be building.

 

Day 6 – New skill

 

Now it is time for you to pick an easy skill to proof.

Pick a skill in an exercise you would like to proof.

Examples might be dumbbell retrieve, start of heeling, recall, start line stay, etc.

 

  • Post the “skill” you are going to proof.
  • What is your criteria for the skill?

 

Remembering the steps we took when proofing the Get It Game

  • First do a repetition with no distractions to check for solid foundations and criteria.
  • Make it as easy as possible for your dog to be correct. *LOTS OF REWARDS*
  • Next add a distraction to the picture. When adding distractions, increase the distance you are from the distraction.
    • Does your dog meet criteria?
    • If no, simplify a little. Reward for success.
    • Increase the difficulty slight again. Can your dog meet your criteria? Reward for correct response.
    • Continue to increase the game when your dog is correct 90% of the time. That is increasing the difficulty or the distance.
    • The dog’s effort gets LOTS OF REWARDS; this will build up your dog’s ego and confidence.
    • On the flip side, make sure you are not luring or “helping” your dog. Let him learn to do the skill I the face of proofing.
    • REMINDER – Effort is not always perfection.

 

Day 7 – putting skills together into exercises/sequences

Anytime you start sequencing, it is important to remember, never continue to the 2nd skill if the first does not meet your criteria. 

 

 

 

Day 8 – what distracts your dog when training/showing?

Since we have been working on the “how to” of proofing, state what distracts your dog.

Now is the time to pick an easy skill and proof what distracts your dog.

Remembering the steps we took when proofing the Get It Game

  • First do a repetition with no distractions to check for solid foundations and criteria.
  • Make it as easy as possible for your dog to be correct. *LOTS OF REWARDS*
  • Next add the distraction to the picture. When adding distractions, increase the distance you are from the distraction.
    • Does your dog meet criteria?
    • If no, simplify a little. Reward for success.
    • Increase the difficulty slight again. Can your dog meet your criteria? Reward for correct response.
    • Continue to increase the game when your dog is correct 90% of the time. That is increasing the difficulty or the distance.
    • The dog’s effort gets LOTS OF REWARDS; this will build up your dog’s ego and confidence. On the flip side, make sure you are not luring or “helping” your dog.  Let him learn to do the skill I the face of proofing.
    • REMINDER – Effort is not always perfection.

 

Day 9 – Saturday – ZOOM

Q&A

 

 

Day  10  

 

 

Day 11

 

Day  12

 

 

Day  13

 

 

Day  14  – wrap up