Friday, April 1, 2011

Start Line Set Up - A Trick!!

I really love this “Start – Set Up”.  Why?  I know where the dog is while the other dog is finishing the course.  I can lead out from either direction and don’t need to ask the dog to change sides.  If there is a delay after I have my leash off, I can simply drape it in front of the dog to hold him in position if he’d break. If I’m outside having a conversation with someone and can’t keep an eye on the dog, I have him “feet” (my word for the set up) and I know where he’s at. 

This is the set up I’ve always used with Seeker.  It means to him, “Wanna Play - GAME ON” – thus the song picked for this clip. 

You’ll need a dog, and some treats.  Clicker is optional; since I love my clicker I use it.

Begin with a treat in each hand, and your dog at your side, either is fine.  I’m going to use left during this description.  Your dog does not need to be sitting to begin.  Using your left hand, stick the treat on the dog’s nose and lure him behind your left leg.  As the dog is moving behind you, you’ll have your right hand between your legs to pick up the dog and guide him through.  Reward.

It’s up to you as to whether you want the dog to start sitting right away or not.  If you do, often just drawing the treat upward will result in a sit.   Reward.  Please be sure to verbally release your dog ‘before’ he makes the decision to ‘release’ himself.

You can work this from both sides if you’d like to.  Once they are proficient at this you can name it.  I use ‘Feet’, Michele uses “Start Line”, name it whatever you’d like. 

You can then turn this into a game, at first staying close and rewarding the dog for coming into the “Start up” position.  Then you can add some distance and speed.  

Have fun! 

This is ONLY A TRICK, but it is VERY Useful One! 


  1. The video says it is private?

  2. LOVE IT! YAY Cougar and Seeker!!!! I am going to use this for sure!! Thanks for posting.
    Dawn & Tess

  3. A friend of mine in flyball has this trick with her dogs, but she uses "Where's my dog?" as the command, which I think is about the cutest thing ever.

  4. I use "under" for Vinnie.

    Michele needs longer legs!! Someone is going to get hurt!!

  5. I think Magic needs to learn this trick. Thanks for the idea.