Learning Goals

Dog Sports Essentials provides a comprehensive framework to get you and your canine athlete started, or to improve your existing sports career. The course will cover confidence on all surfaces, self-control, solid cues, ability to work in distracting environments and at a distance, body awareness, handling skills, a robust reinforcement toolbox, and many more pertinent foundation skills.

In this course, you will learn to:

  • transfer the value of play to dog sports and everyday activities that you would like to enjoy with your dog
  • establish a reinforcement system that is universal for all future training endeavors with your dog:
  • train your dog to relax on cue
  • train reliable stay and release cues
  • harness the power of an anticipation cue
  • use targeting, capturing, and shaping to introduce your dog to complex actions and concepts
  • teach your dog a default behavior for communicating that he’s ready to work, or that he cannot understand your cue
  • teach your dog to be comfortable on all kinds of novel surfaces
  • useful exercises to teach your dog to go around, through, over, and under various objects
  • several fun activities to teach your dog body and hind-end awareness that will be useful in dog sports
  • describe and train for each of the six aspects of fluency—precision, latency, speed, distraction, duration, distance
  • define, build, and maintain behavior chains, and describe their use in dog sports
  • teach a recall to front using a fun, easy-to-follow game
  • teach your dog to work comfortably beside you
  • communicate the changes in pace and direction that are necessary in many dog sports
  • teach your dog to work at a distance, both ahead of you and laterally away from you