My recent blogs have been giving you an insight into our beliefs and methods at SWAT. I have focused on the most common phrases that Jo and I are heard to say during nearly every session we teach.
These ideas are invaluable when you are deciding how you want to train your dog and therefore your training plan. But there are some key factors that can help make any training you do, even more effective.
Firstly consider what message you are giving your dog when a mistake happens and you need to correct it. Where do you start the sequence? If your dog misses a weave entry, do you correct the entry or do you go back over the jump before it again? If you do the jump again what are you telling the dog?
You are re doing a sequence because something has gone wrong. The dog needs to be clear what that was - so you need to start exactly where it went wrong .In the example above, this means starting at the weaves. Then when the dog has got that right, redo the whole sequence so you have a chance to perfect it when running it in exactly the same way.
Another example is a push round the back of a jump. If the dog doesn’t go round the back, try it again. Then redo the whole sequence. If you redo obstacles that were done correctly the first time, then the dog gets confused and will begin to think he needs to offer up another behavior on those as well!
So next time you watch someone do the same sequence over and over again, because the dog is going wrong on the 4th obstacle - think what the dog is learning from the situation, and how much quicker it would understand if shown exactly which bit to change.
Next time i will explain how to hit the jackpot :-)