Date:  Saturday, Jan. 14, 9 am-1 p.m.

Length:  Four hours

Cost: $40 for members, $60 for nonmembers

Recommended for: Dogs 6 months and older

Prerequisites: Puppy Elementary for puppies less than one year. Or instructor permission based on puppy’s readiness and prior training. CGC for dogs older than 1 year.

Course Description:  The workshop will help handlers learn to build their dog’s drive with toys, while balancing that with impulse control and teamwork. Activity will wind down with learning to relax and build flexibility through a lateral stretching exercise.

Training will be done in a fun, motivational games format. It’s based on puppy foundation games promoted by handlers such as Daisy Peel, Anna Hinze and Susan Garrett. 

NOTE: While this course is primarily design as a pre-agility puppy foundation, these games can also help build desire, focus, speed, body awareness and willingness to follow for other sports. They can also build drive, speed and focus for dogs of any age. 

Number of participants limited to 6.

Students need to bring:

  • Collar and lead
  • High value treats cut into very small bits – Such as steak, cheese, liver, etc.
  • Two bowls
  • Two identical toys, such as rope toys or milkers OR two toys of very similar value to your dog. These should ideally be toys that your dog likes to tug.  Food stuffable toys can be substituted for food motivated dogs.
  • Food stuffable toy (if your dog is food motivated). An old sock is an option. Other options:  https://www.cleanrun.com/category/dog_toys_and_tugs/food_stuffable_agility_training_dog_toys/index.cfm
  • A long toy you can drag or can be tied to a leash or rope. (Can be one of the toys you brought for the previous exercise tied to something). Here are some options along with bungees that can be tied to toys to make a shorter toy longer: https://www.cleanrun.com/category/dog_toys_and_tugs/dog_tug_toys/index.cfm?pmin=1&pmax=47
  • A cushion, mat or stool for you to sit on (could be the same one you bring for your dog as long as it’s comfortable.)
  • A crate cover and a chewie or other toy/s to help your pup relax when not working.

Curriculum Outline:

Hand Touch to Toy Return

Dog learns to target your hand and then touch hand with toy (beginning retrieve).

Two Toy Game

Dog learns to engage a toy and then switch engagement to another toy and back. Also teaches foundation for retrieve.

Go Wild and Freeze 

Dog learns to transition from drive to control position. Also learns that offering the control position starts another game (start line foundation).

Vito’s Thinking Game with Cone Wrap

Game teaches dog to move back and forth between two points, a common pattern in agility. This game was introduced in Young Dogs 1 and we will progress this game to support learning a basic agility skill, wrapping a cone.

Chase the Squirrel Part 3 – Lead out Around Cone

In much of agility, dogs work with us at the center of the sequence or arc. But sometimes the dog must accept turning away from us as we step into them (a push around a wing for example). This fast, fun game teaches dogs to respect our space as they circle a cone with us shaping their path from the outside.

Puppy Stretches

Flexibility helps dogs turn efficiently and helps avoid injury. It’s best to start flexibility exercises while a dog is young to maintain optimum flexibility of neck and spine for a lifetime. This exercise can also be used as part of a warm up, cool down or to help relax the dog.

Note: depending on the group, we may or may not get through all of the activities. I’ll also keep a couple of bonus activities in my back pocket if we move through these too quickly.