If I have one regret in my life, it will be not spending enough time to train and play with my dogs. I have been lucky to be blessed with so many great dogs. In my memory I had Max and Keesha, each has its unique unsurpassed quality. Due to my commitment, I have spent way too much time training people in Obedience, Agility, Flyball, and Frisbee. As a trainer myself, I will prepare my classes before my students come in for the lessons. I am guilty of not preparing myself with my training objective when training my own dogs. Without proper layout and lesson plans, how can I expect to achieve out of the training programme?
So in this NEW YEAR 2011, I want to devote more of my time to train and bond with my own dogs. I look at my present dogs, I have Benji, Millie and Jade. Being competitive also compel me to work towards my TOP dreams. I wanted to groom our 3rd National Obedience Champion in Singapore. The 2nd National Utility Champion (Obedience) in Singapore. I wanted to compete and win TOP 10 ranking at the USDAA Cynosport World Games in 2011!
Having the opportunity to raise some puppies, I can clearly see what the most sort after skills to have; Name Calling, Start line Stay, Left, Right and Close commands. Introduce your puppies its name is essential. If you cannot get your puppy to look at you, you have ZERO chance to get your dog to respond to you. Pairing its name with rewards is a perfect way to add value to its name. I.E. Everytime you call ‘Max’, C/T, pair this for 50-100 repetition, you should get a name to respond instantly. Start-line Stay are often overlook, but I deem it as necessary especially if you need to position yourself way ahead of the obstacle to give you a head start. Teach your dog to touch your guiding hand. Everytime you show your finger, the dog touches C/T, pair it for 5-100 repetition, you dog should understand to head toward your guiding hand and touch it on command. This touch game also get you an opportunity to train your dog restraint as in Stays.
Left and Right cue on commands are handy cue that will equip handlers to get into optimal position to nail the courses. Started at heel position, walk along with a treat, guide your dog to move along side on your left. Swing your right hand(outside arm) toward your dog head and lead your dog to turn away from you, and once completed your dog should have executed a left turn and back on your right side of your position and remember to C/T. Again pair this for 50-100 repetition on both left and right side, your dog should response to your body cue for a left and right time readily.
The last by not least command will be Close command. Training your dog to work close toward your body when ask. Put your dog on sit stay on heel and take a step forward. Provide a close cue for your dog to move into heel position on your right and C/T. Pair this and repeat 50-100 times on both the left and right side. You should use a separate command for left and right side of your body.
With these necessary skills set plus agility foundation training, you will be ready to enrol your dog into Dog Agility Competition. However, please consult your veterinarian for your dog’s health and your trainer for your dog’s readiness for competition.
Happy reading and I hope this form part of your training repertoire of your dog’s agility career.
I want to Wishes All A Merry and A Blessed Christmas to You and Your Family!