Clean Run - March 2013 - (Page 57)

What is your favorite training treat? “I never use anything of higher value than kibble. A lot of people use very high-value treats when the dog is young, and then it is difficult to go back to kibble.” Training with the Stars Greg Derrett Favorite toy: “A tug of course. We use the basic small white rope tugs.” Consider this mathematical equation: cue equals behavior equals reward. © MARTIN CAVILL Trainer: Greg Derrett Base: Evesham, England Training since: 1988 Venues of competition: UK Agility, KC, FCI Number of national competitions: around 100 Number of international competitions: 10 Dogs: Border Collies Detox, age 6.5; Rehab, age 4 © IANCLARKPHOTOGRAPHY.COM By Sally Silverman What’s in your training bag? Lead, collar, running shoes. Simple enough, yet it is the theoretical basis of the successful agility career Piece of technology that has benefited your training: The computer for recordkeeping. for their dog. And that system is simple. It involves clear cues so that the Superstitions: Using his competition collar and lead, and taking his watch off so his arms are bare. “And the collar of my polo shirt has to be up.” Secret to share: “I have been deaf in my left ear since I was 18. That’s why I turn my right ear to face people when I am talking to them.” Most difficult part of training: Self-motivation. “It’s about wanting something, setting that goal, and making sure that I really want to compete at the top level.” Best agility advice he was ever given: “When I was 12, my instructor taught me to do circle work and was adamant it would take me to the top. I agree with him to this day!” Agility moments you are most proud of: “Winning Olympia (KC Agility Stakes Final) for the first time in 1997 with Jaycee, my second dog.” Seeing this event prompted Greg to start agility. “Today this event means more to me than any other, including Worlds.” March 13 | Clean Run of Greg Derrett. “Everyone should have a system that works for them and dog can understand what the handler is asking and receive his reward.” Greg’s first foray into dog training was in 1988, when he began training dogs in obedience. Within a year he was doing agility, and became a professional trainer in 1991. Offering agility lessons paid his way through college. His focused approach on cue = behavior = reward is built, in part, on the fact that his university studies were centered on companion animal behavior, earning him an advanced degree which, in his native England, is comparable to the Bachelor of Science in the USA. “A lot of people tend to do different things on different days. Because I come from a more scientific background, dog training has to make theoretical sense. I take a more scientific approach, trying to keep things more mathematical.” Adding Up the Building Blocks His simple equation is at the heart of all of his foundation work. This is the place where he sees the biggest holes in training, which create the most problems for handlers. “People don’t put enough effort into their reward structure, so they aren’t creating the right reinforcement. It’s important to make sure that the reinforcement you are offering is a real reward to the dog. When we start training, I make sure that I have the million dollars that the dog wants.” A good trainer, he says, will work on those reinforcement structures throughout the dog’s life. “It means not allowing bad things to become too rewarding—like fence running. And making sure that you 57 http://www.IANCLARKPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - March 2013

Clean Run - March 2013
Contents
Editorializing: Would You Treat a Dog Like That?
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Knowledge Equals Speed! Teaching Verbal Directional Commands, Part 1
Power Paws Drills: Gnarly Rears
Ultimate Instructors: What Makes a Really Good Instructor?
Can You Handle It?
Head-Turning Turns, Part 3
The 10-Minute Trainer
Busting the Myths: Set Goals? Or Just Enjoy the Moment?
Out Spot Out! Five Required Skills for Successful Distance Work
Living Room Agility: Front & Rear Crosses
Nutrition for the Canine Athlete, Part 2
Puppy Agility Games, Part 1
Training with the Stars: Greg Derrett
The Judge’s Debriefing
Foundation Jumping, Part 1

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