Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting the Most out of a Fun Match

I don’t often refer to other posts, but I think this is really a good one.
It ties in really well with the last post regarding being a good dog trainer.


1/12/2010 - What's Holding you back?

This also reminds us how important HOME WORK is!
That’s really all our weakness are, something to strive to improve on!
Don’t be fooled, everyone and every thing has something that can be improved.
If you don’t believe that, look at how far cell phones have come!
Remember the BAG PHONE!!
(If you don’t, I don’t want to know!)
We had one! Ollie chewed the cover off!! LOL

I went to an “Agility Show and Go” Sunday afternoon at a site that will be hosting an AKC Trial in a couple weeks. As I watched dogs and handlers run through the course, I noticed many missed opportunities where the handler could have rewarded their dog for a job well done. The event did have a very large turn out, which made it very trial like, so what better reason to make sure your dog is rewarded. I do understand that people don’t want to take up a lot of time when so many are waiting, and I agree. You can, however, ‘pick’ those areas you really want to focus on and reward for those performances.

What concerned me most were the teams that obviously had areas that needed some attention, but rushed through that sequence, just to get off the course. Maybe a better choice would have been to work on that area and then skip the rest of the course?

I do see the logic behind running a whole course to see ‘how you’ll do’, the first time. Searching for that ‘break down in training’ and your ‘Home Work’. The second time however, most dogs know where they are going, so, you’ve lost the opportunity to see how your dog will truly do. Instead, it might be best to look for areas to reward. It could be your contacts, tight turns, weave poles, front crosses, rear crosses, let’s not forgot holding their start line position!
There are so many things!

Just something to keep this in mind the next time you attend a ‘Fun Match’.
You do want to be conscious of not taking too much time.
At the same time you want to be sure you’re providing your dog with the positive
feedback that will ensure he continues to perform at his best at future events.


  1. How true is that! I see the same thing at obedience matches. Handlers rush through the exercises on auto pilot while their dog is telling them he is confused, distracted, scared or just plain bored. If you're nervous because people are watching, here's the perfect chance to work on it. Relax, reward, re-do. Plan to "train in the ring" with your $5 match entry and you'll set yourself up for better performance at your next $25 trial entry.

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