Clean Run - June 2012 - 47

pole performance or tighter turns), rehearsing the behavior and reinforcing the behavior is the way to get repeated performance of the behavior. The rehearsal and reinforcement of an undesired behavior doesn’t happen because the handler is deliberately rehearsing and reinforcing sniffing, but because the handler is allowing the sniffing (then expecting the dog to magically stop sniffing at other times) or the handler is accidentally rewarding the dog for sniffing. Rehearsal of sniffing comes from what I consider to be a lack of attention to what the dog is doing in the “in between” moments, such as in between runs, in between setting up and training, and in between running and talking to the instructor or friends. Many handlers allow their dogs to wander around during setup time or between sequences, sniffing to their heart’s content in the agility ring (or just outside it). The handlers aren’t paying attention to the dog or aren’t controlling the dog’s environment or aren’t working on impulse control, so

the dog repeatedly rehearses sniffing in the agility environment. Sniffing is a self-reinforcing behavior, so the dog is getting tons of reinforcement from the environment during these in between moments—making it far more difficult for the handler to build the value of the game where the dog has to work for reinforcement rather than get it for free from the environment. Remember, dogs in general are efficient creatures and will take the easiest route to reinforcement! Another prime rehearsal of sequence happens in training—the handler has bobbled a move during a run and turns to talk to the instructor about how to improve, turning her back on the dog. Many dogs will begin to sniff and wander around (on course!) while the handler is fixing her handling. Some dogs might even consider the handler’s withdrawal of attention and opportunity to earn reinforcement to be negative punishment (time-out), which punishes the dog’s focus on course just before the handling bobble and lessens the value of the game. True, this is accidental rehearsal of sniffing and

punishment of focus, but it is rehearsal and punishment nonetheless. The best way to stop the accidental rehearsal (and the self-reinforcement that comes with it) is for the handler to be more aware of how much the dog is rehearsing sniffing in the agility environment—and then set up the dog’s environment to not allow the rehearsal while you are training impulse control. If the handler is waiting her turn in class or setting up or chatting with friends, be sure the dog is crated, in an x-pen, or earning reinforcement for sitting in a chair, laying on a bed, or holding a downstay. If the handler makes a mistake on course and stops to fix it, she should make the dog her first priority by rewarding the dog for his focus and effort. If the handling error is big enough that the sequence has come to a screeching halt, then the handler should immediately turn to the dog, ask for a different, fun behavior (such as a trick or a hand touch) and reward the dog. Then, before turning to the instructor or figuring out what went wrong, the handler can prevent sniffing rehearsal by simply hold-

Jen Pinder’s

A Program for Training the Teeter and Solutions for Common Teeter Performance Problems

Now there’s an easy-to-follow, progressive program that will help you teach a terrific teeter performance to any dog, large or small. Jen Pinder’s teeter training program is designed to teach the dog that he is truly in control of the motion. Part of being in control means the dog must know what is expected and how to do it. While the program can be followed start to finish to teach new dogs the teeter, there is an entire disc designed to provide problem-solving support for trained dogs with teeter performance problems.

“Alphabet drills are wonderful for both the serious agility trainer and the casual agility enthusiast. Creative in concept and comprehensive in scope, they promote good training habits and the development of excellent skills. Linger on L to learn more about lines, circle your way through the O-P-Q cycle, or simply open the book to pick a letter—you will nd challenging and fun drills for you and your dog.” —Katie Tolve, competitor
®

®

www.cleanrun.com

© JOANNE WEBER

www.cleanrun.com
47

June 12

| Clean Run


http://www.cleanrun.com http://www.cleanrun.com http://www.cleanrun.com

Clean Run - June 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - June 2012

Clean Run - June 2012
Contents
Editorializing: The Other Bank Account
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility
Backyard Dogs
Awesome Paws Drills: Skills Checklist, Part 3
On the Road Again: Safety Measures for Driving with Your Dog
Challenges for Rising Stars
Proofing Your Dog’s Weave Pole Performance
Knowledge Equals Speed! Positive Training Routines
Analyze This!
Perfecting Nutrition for Performance Dogs
Why Dogs Sniff and What to Do About It
Building Blocks: Building Skills Around the Tunnel
From Hoof to Woof: What Riders Can Teach Handlers
New & Common Therapies for Treating Injuries in the Canine Athlete
Agility Mind Gym: Visualization
Control Unleashed Solutions and Answers: Shy & Overwhelmed
Clean Run - June 2012 - Clean Run - June 2012
Clean Run - June 2012 - 2
Clean Run - June 2012 - Contents
Clean Run - June 2012 - 4
Clean Run - June 2012 - Editorializing: The Other Bank Account
Clean Run - June 2012 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run - June 2012 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility
Clean Run - June 2012 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run - June 2012 - 9
Clean Run - June 2012 - Awesome Paws Drills: Skills Checklist, Part 3
Clean Run - June 2012 - 11
Clean Run - June 2012 - 12
Clean Run - June 2012 - On the Road Again: Safety Measures for Driving with Your Dog
Clean Run - June 2012 - 14
Clean Run - June 2012 - 15
Clean Run - June 2012 - 16
Clean Run - June 2012 - 17
Clean Run - June 2012 - Challenges for Rising Stars
Clean Run - June 2012 - 19
Clean Run - June 2012 - 20
Clean Run - June 2012 - Proofing Your Dog’s Weave Pole Performance
Clean Run - June 2012 - 22
Clean Run - June 2012 - 23
Clean Run - June 2012 - 24
Clean Run - June 2012 - 25
Clean Run - June 2012 - 26
Clean Run - June 2012 - 27
Clean Run - June 2012 - Knowledge Equals Speed! Positive Training Routines
Clean Run - June 2012 - 29
Clean Run - June 2012 - 30
Clean Run - June 2012 - 31
Clean Run - June 2012 - Analyze This!
Clean Run - June 2012 - 33
Clean Run - June 2012 - 34
Clean Run - June 2012 - 35
Clean Run - June 2012 - 36
Clean Run - June 2012 - 37
Clean Run - June 2012 - 38
Clean Run - June 2012 - 39
Clean Run - June 2012 - Perfecting Nutrition for Performance Dogs
Clean Run - June 2012 - 41
Clean Run - June 2012 - 42
Clean Run - June 2012 - 43
Clean Run - June 2012 - Why Dogs Sniff and What to Do About It
Clean Run - June 2012 - 45
Clean Run - June 2012 - 46
Clean Run - June 2012 - 47
Clean Run - June 2012 - 48
Clean Run - June 2012 - 49
Clean Run - June 2012 - 50
Clean Run - June 2012 - Building Blocks: Building Skills Around the Tunnel
Clean Run - June 2012 - 52
Clean Run - June 2012 - 53
Clean Run - June 2012 - 54
Clean Run - June 2012 - From Hoof to Woof: What Riders Can Teach Handlers
Clean Run - June 2012 - New & Common Therapies for Treating Injuries in the Canine Athlete
Clean Run - June 2012 - 57
Clean Run - June 2012 - 58
Clean Run - June 2012 - Agility Mind Gym: Visualization
Clean Run - June 2012 - 60
Clean Run - June 2012 - 61
Clean Run - June 2012 - Control Unleashed Solutions and Answers: Shy & Overwhelmed
Clean Run - June 2012 - 63
Clean Run - June 2012 - 64
Clean Run - June 2012 - 65
Clean Run - June 2012 - 66
Clean Run - June 2012 - 67
Clean Run - June 2012 - 68
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