Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 24

Angelica Steinker There are a couple of possibilities here: First, if you have a tendency to run full courses in training and give your dog food or play at the end of a full-course run, then the behavior you are seeing is the result of ratio strain. The number of behaviors the dog is required to perform before he can access reinforcement is consistent so your dog does not put in a lot of effort until he knows he is getting close to getting his reinforcement. To prevent this problem, break the cycle. In training reinforce your dog at unpredictable times. Sometimes reinforce a behavior at the end of a chain of 12 cues, sometimes after 5 cues, sometimes after 30 cues. This way the dog can’t predict when reinforcement might be offered and his performance will improve. Being unpredictable is generally a challenge for us as trainers, but it makes for much better results. Alternately, your dog may be experiencing ring stress. Ring stress occurs when dogs sense pressure to perform from the handler, when the trial environment is stressful to the dog, or both. Behaviorally your dog is running faster toward the end of the run because this is when the relief of leaving the ring is about to occur. The dog is being negatively reinforced by leaving the ring. The reinforcement is the relief of exiting the pressure-cooker area. The solution is obvious, but not easy to attain: help the dog enjoy being in the competition area. One way to make the competition ring more fun is to go in and run two obstacles and run back out. Then gradually over time build up to more obstacles in an unpredictable way. If the actual trial site is a source of stress the problem is more challenging to overcome. Taking your dog to trials and simply playing with him—and asking him to do nothing else—is an excellent idea. Asking your dog to perform tricks and increasing your rate of reinforcement next to the ring is also great. If M Ed, CDBC Angelica is owner and operator of Courteous Canine, Inc. in Lutz, Florida, is the author of both Agility Success, a book on the mental training aspects of agility, and a new book, Click and Play Agility on clicker training agility. Visit her website at www.AngelicaSteinker.com. your dog gets lots of treats and play time next to the ring, being near the ring will eventually become a fun thing. The goal is then for your dog to eventually love being in the trial environment and ultimately want to go into the competition ring. It is a great feeling when your dog drags you into the agility ring. Whatever is going on with your dog, you are on a journey and by facing this challenge you will learn much more than those who run dogs dying to do agility. Some trainers have never experienced the challenge of competing with the environment for the dog’s attention nor have they experienced training an easily stressed dog. While some competitors may be inclined to put down people who are struggling, the reality is that those who face and overcome challenges are often much better trainers and coaches because of the tremendous amount of learning that takes place. D Brenna Fender is a freelance writer with an undergraduate degree in mass communications and a masters degree in elementary education. She lives with her husband, two young children, a Vizsla, a Whippet, and a cat. The dogs are collectively titled in agility, obedience, conformation, hunting, rally, and lure coursing. The cat, husband, and children are lacking in this regard. Contact Brenna at BrennaFender@gmail.com. Are you ready for an infusion of fresh new ideas for your training program? Then plan to attend the Clean Run Instructor Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan! August 1-3, 2008 Preconference Workshops July 31, 2008 • Problem-solving techniques and training methods to achieve obstacle proficiency • Skills training ideas to improve handling • Ideas for motivating both your students and their dogs • Techniques for teaching and dealing with difficult human students • Training plans for different levels of classes • Help balancing your curriculum for competitive students vs. recreational students • Networking opportunities Produced by Clean Run and 24 Clean Run | February 08
http://www.AngelicaSteinker.com http://www.dogsofcourse.com

Clean Run Magazine - February 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run Magazine - February 2008

Clean Run Magazine - February 2008
Contents
Editorializing: Barbarians at the Gate?
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
On Course with Annie Lehman
Basic Turns
Trainer’s Forum
Do You Have a Preferred Handling Speed?
Foundation Fundamentals: Dealing with Distractions, Part 2
Case Study: The King of the Off-course
Conquering Ring Nerves: How Do I Stop Shaking When I Step to the Line?
Sports Retraining for Agility Athletes
When Pigs Fly: What Is an Operant Dog? Why Should I Care?
Power Paws Patterns: Number Three
Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Increasing Challenges on the Ball
Spy Kids: Balance in Training
Skill of the Month
When the Click Doesn’t End the Behavior: Conditioning a Release Signal
Shelter Champs: Dunk
Distance Challenge
Letters
Agility Organization Update
Nested Courses for Mardi Gras
Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Clean Run Magazine - February 2008
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 2
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Contents
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 4
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Editorializing: Barbarians at the Gate?
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 9
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 10
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 11
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 12
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 13
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - On Course with Annie Lehman
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 15
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 16
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Basic Turns
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 18
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 19
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 20
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 21
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Trainer’s Forum
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 23
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 24
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 25
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Do You Have a Preferred Handling Speed?
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 27
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 28
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Foundation Fundamentals: Dealing with Distractions, Part 2
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 30
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 31
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Case Study: The King of the Off-course
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 33
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 34
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 35
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Conquering Ring Nerves: How Do I Stop Shaking When I Step to the Line?
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 37
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 38
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Sports Retraining for Agility Athletes
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 40
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 41
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 42
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - When Pigs Fly: What Is an Operant Dog? Why Should I Care?
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 44
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 45
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 46
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 47
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 48
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Power Paws Patterns: Number Three
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 50
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 51
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Increasing Challenges on the Ball
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 53
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 54
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 55
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 56
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Spy Kids: Balance in Training
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 58
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 59
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 60
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 61
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Skill of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 63
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 64
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - When the Click Doesn’t End the Behavior: Conditioning a Release Signal
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 66
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 67
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 68
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Shelter Champs: Dunk
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 70
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 71
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 72
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Distance Challenge
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 74
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 75
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 76
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Letters
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 78
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Agility Organization Update
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 80
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 81
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 83
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 84
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