Workout Wednesday – Target practice


Getting back into club has been fun after a long break for both Jaxon & I. I’ve found that it’s given us some time to settle down our training, and approach it from a different attitude.

I’m also loving the One Mind method, and how much smoother this is in the run.  Jaxon has been learning the new moves with me for a few months now, and I can see that is starting to pay off.

While rain didn’t help his distraction cause on the weekend, we did have a lot of fun doing some foundation work on obstacle focus.

So this week, we’ve been working on target practice at a distance. Using the 5 mins around dinner and breakfast that we usually do, we’ve been building on Jaxon clearing not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR – yes FOUR obstacles to get to his target apparatus. It’s been fun, and this is how we’ve been doing it.

The obstacle I first started with was the table, as that’s what we did at Club on the weekend.

I set up a table with a target on it, then in line with that 2 jumps, a tunnel. Working back from there another jump & weave poles. The whole layout was like a big U.


training map_1

At first we started behind the first jump, and placed a treat on the target on the table.

The idea is to put a treat on the target (let your pup see it, but not eat it!)

Line them up behind the first jump, give a small gesture to table, say “table” or which ever word you choose for setting up distance work. I chose “table”.

Your pup should do the jump, then get the treat on the table. When they do get the jump & hop up on the table, don’t forget to connect the right behaviour by signalling “Yes!” and then they get the treat. Timing is everything here.

Once you’re 80% on getting this right, you can build back to another jump.

Have the treat on the target on the table. Line your pup up behind the second jump. Give the signal and words again.

This time your pup should jump both jumps, then hop up on the table. If (like Jaxon at first) your pup runs around the second jump, bring them back to the first one, and do it a couple of more times before moving back to the layer of the second jump.

As you progress, you will add an obstacle moving backwards.

Today we reached obstacle number 4 – the jump before the tunnel!

If you approach it a little bit each day, your pup will learn with confidence, and easily enough to build confidently step after step.

THEN comes the challenge of mixing up the obstacles & trying it again. Also try different locations to really build in the idea of distance work and obstacle targeting.

Happy target practice!

Posted on May 7, 2014, in Fun, Training and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Sounds like something I would love to try out… just need to figure out how to even get started in the first place! lol

    • Mrs P – you can easily start with just a plastic lid and some food (assuming Donna is in a food reward mood). You don’t even need the jumps or tunnel. Just get Donna going on to the food. You can do it with her dinner in the bowl. Put her in a sit-stay. Talk the bowl a couple of steps out. Walk back to her and release her (you might want to use the word “bowl” or “dinner” to send her to that target or we just use “break” as the release from a stay. Have fun with it!

      • Great tips 1st World Dog! Mrs P – on a different note for agility, you can also get your puppy started with some early training on jumping and the like. If you have some pool noodles (or even just some long thin tubes, or such the like), lay them along the ground at about a metre apart, and start your pup by running up and down the noodles. You will see how quickly they get a rhythm going to jump over each one. To start off, treat each little jump. Then build up to a few in a row & then treat. It’s a fun and quick way to get them moving their body, and starting to understand how your puppy moves too.

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