We’re not going to be talking about the Wizard of Oz today, but one of the more interesting foundation skills for doggies doing Agility – the Two On Two Off or Contacts training.
Having a small dog, one of the foundations skills I just didn’t worry about was the contact training. As Jaxon gets faster and more confident, however, I’m realising that this really is a necessary part of our training, and something we should at least cover the basics of.
With a dog in a family of different people, and where one person in particular is the trainer, it can be very hard to get any synergy with training style.
I often tell my dear husband off for teaching Jaxon lots of bad things – such as chasing birds in the back yard.
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!