Category Archives: Tricks
Keeping any dog or puppy happy and healthy takes a lot of interaction, fun, and consistency.
Our little Papillon, Jaxon, is a very lucky pup in the sense that there’s usually someone around at home with him. He’s not often alone for extended periods, and gets great garden, play & walk time with us humans.
A small divergence this week from our normal workout routine!
This week I’ve tried to surprise Jaxon with a bunch of different training to keep him interested, teach him new things, and just have some plain old fun!
Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? I loved those stories and would read them over again and again. What I liked most about them was the unexpected rewards you got at every choice. Dogs love that kind of reward system too. Positive behaviour and reinforcement is best displayed when the dog is making their own choices from the outset.
This week we’ve been working on good choices for Jaxon. I realised that rewarding him with food wasn’t really putting the value of the relationship into me, but into the food.
I’ve been trying to record more training with Jaxon so that I can review my handling, and see what I’m doing OK at, and how I can improve.
This week, we’ve been practicing a few OneMind Dog moves. The first one I tried was the Twist. I’m still slow and working through learning the move, so Jaxon has been very patient with me!
In the last couple of months, Jaxon & I have become absolute Agility Nerds. Pretty much now we have a structured training week, and we have as much fun as possible during the week, then celebrate by hanging out with the pack at Club & putting practice to purpose.
In following lots of puppies all over the world, and learning lots about many different styles, handling methods and simply having lots of doggy fun, I’ve noticed a lot of doggies in the snow.
If you met Jaxon at a trial, you would think he’s a yapper (sad face). However, if you met him at home, you’d be surprised at how quiet he is.
I certainly thought he was such a quiet one that we’d have to encourage him to speak up sometimes.
One of the early tricks I taught Jaxon was to “Speak”. I watched a TV program about dogs that perform on TV, and thought Jaxon would make a great TV dog (no offers yet).
The thing that made me think was the fact the trainer was getting the dog to do certain actions at a distance.
Eventually, “Speak” became a trick that worked 2-fold. It got Jaxon to speak up, and it taught him not to bark at us other times.
This week we’ve been challenging ourselves with lots of foundation training for agility. While that’s fun, I’ve really wanted to put some variety into our daily sessions to give Jaxon lots of fun and keep him challenged.
This week we’re training on a different surface everyday. With our daily training, I like to keep it short and fun for Jaxon, keeping it to 5 minutes at each end of the day. I train these sessions at mealtimes so I have Jaxon’s attention.
We’ve really fallen for the method that is blitzing the world at the moment – the One Mind Dogs method.
If you’re in Australia, now you have the chance to find out for yourself all about the One Mind Dogs method.
They are coming in April for a Seminar & workshops!
Jaxon & I are still novice level, so anything and everything really helps at this stage!
While it’s a lot of running (helping us get fit!), it seems to make sense for both handler & the dog.
If you have missed any of the information from the One Mind Dogs team, or the Agility Australia Facebook page, here it is again:
Sign up for the Seminar & auditing sessions here: Game On Dogs
If you can’t make it – here are a couple of great videos from the OMD team to get you interested!
One of our challenges in Agility & Jumping has been connection between Jaxon & I. So this means keeping a good basic training schedule of foundation skills.
For me, I like to do 5 minutes at each end of the day – high energy quick sessions that end on a high, and keep Jaxon interested and wagging his tail.