Clean Run - August 2019 - 14

PART 2

Building a Confident
and Willing
Performance Partner
By Kristine Hammar, photos courtesy of author

In Part 1 last month, I discussed the importance of, and my underlying approach
to, confidence building as a separate, and
deliberate, component of foundation
training for an agility dog.
This month, I will get into the more fun
part by introducing examples of exercises
that I teach to apply those confidencebuilding concepts.
Objects Galore!
When working specifically on confidence building, I encourage handlers to
introduce their dogs to various objects,
to be used in many different ways, to
cultivate an attitude of willingness, curiosity, and trust.
Why objects? Generally speaking, working with "stuff " is usually fun, for both
dog and handler. For a handler who tends
to get focused in on end-result behaviors,
working with an object that has no particular significance to performance training
can help free them from putting too much
expectation on the dog throughout the
confidence-building process.
In addition, in recent years, I have borrowed and adapted many skills from canine parkour into my confidence-building program. The sport of canine parkour
consists of the dog interacting in different
ways with objects in the environment.
Many of these interactions, as well as
working with a dog in different locations,
can be a great way to help a dog develop
a keen sense of exploration, curiosity, and
willingness to try new things.
Objects used to build confidence might
include familiar items, such as chairs,
cushions, ring gates, cones, boards, pieces
14

of foam, buckets, pieces of PVC, etc. For more advanced confidence building, you
can work farther afield with objects that have less predictable surfaces, such as rocks,
stumps, playground equipment, fences, fallen logs, etc. You can use anything available
and safe for your dog to work with, and with which your dog is willing to interact.
The Setup
In a class setting, I set up several
different objects on the floor, and
each dog gets a chance to go out on
the floor and explore everything
that is there.
Handlers are encouraged to allow
their dogs to make choices, and to
praise and reinforce their dogs for
interacting with the objects in different ways. Very often, the dogs
make surprising choices. Creativity
is encouraged!
As I explained in my first article, handlers are asked to avoid making a particular end
goal behavior for the dog. Instead, this training is more of an exercise of exploration.
Dogs are permitted to explore with their noses, with their feet, and even through the
way they move their bodies in relationship to the objects.
Always Recognize Strengths and Preferences
As you work on confidence building, it is always important to be mindful of an individual dog's strengths and preferences. As performance sports trainers, we sometimes tend
to devote most of our time and training to a dog's weaknesses. This would seem to make
good sense, as it provides the dog with additional practice that may help with mastery
of a concept or behavior with which the dog is struggling. However, for some dogs, this
can result in a break down in confidence and motivation, especially if the skill is one
that the dog is reluctant to attempt.
The good news is that there is a simple antidote to this, one that might seem counterintuitive, but can be highly effective: spend more of the dog's training time on behaviors
and skills that the dog does well and enjoys, and integrate more challenging work in
smaller portions.
When I set up the floor with different objects, I always incorporate at least one object
that each dog heartily enjoys working with, and is drawn to, whenever that is possible.
For a dog who struggles with confidence, I will place the loved item right in the center
of the room, while objects that the dog has less desire to interact with are placed on
the outer edges.
Clean Run | August 19



Clean Run - August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - August 2019

Contents
Clean Run - August 2019 - Cover1
Clean Run - August 2019 - Cover2
Clean Run - August 2019 - Contents
Clean Run - August 2019 - 4
Clean Run - August 2019 - 5
Clean Run - August 2019 - 6
Clean Run - August 2019 - 7
Clean Run - August 2019 - 8
Clean Run - August 2019 - 9
Clean Run - August 2019 - 10
Clean Run - August 2019 - 11
Clean Run - August 2019 - 12
Clean Run - August 2019 - 13
Clean Run - August 2019 - 14
Clean Run - August 2019 - 15
Clean Run - August 2019 - 16
Clean Run - August 2019 - 17
Clean Run - August 2019 - 18
Clean Run - August 2019 - 19
Clean Run - August 2019 - 20
Clean Run - August 2019 - 21
Clean Run - August 2019 - 22
Clean Run - August 2019 - 23
Clean Run - August 2019 - 24
Clean Run - August 2019 - 25
Clean Run - August 2019 - 26
Clean Run - August 2019 - 27
Clean Run - August 2019 - 28
Clean Run - August 2019 - 29
Clean Run - August 2019 - 30
Clean Run - August 2019 - 31
Clean Run - August 2019 - 32
Clean Run - August 2019 - 33
Clean Run - August 2019 - 34
Clean Run - August 2019 - 35
Clean Run - August 2019 - 36
Clean Run - August 2019 - 37
Clean Run - August 2019 - 38
Clean Run - August 2019 - 39
Clean Run - August 2019 - 40
Clean Run - August 2019 - 41
Clean Run - August 2019 - 42
Clean Run - August 2019 - 43
Clean Run - August 2019 - 44
Clean Run - August 2019 - 45
Clean Run - August 2019 - 46
Clean Run - August 2019 - 47
Clean Run - August 2019 - 48
Clean Run - August 2019 - 49
Clean Run - August 2019 - 50
Clean Run - August 2019 - Cover3
Clean Run - August 2019 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1220
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1120
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0920
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0820
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0720
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0620
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0520
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0420
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0320
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0220
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0120
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1219
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1119
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0919
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0819
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0719
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0619
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0519
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0419
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0319
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0219
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0119
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1218
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1118
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0918
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0818
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0718
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0618
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0518
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0418
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1217
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1117
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0917
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0817
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0717
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0617
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0517
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1216
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1116
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0916
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0816
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0716
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0616
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0516
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1215
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1115
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0915
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0815
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0715
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0615
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0515
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0315
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0215
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0115
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1214
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1114
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0914
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0814
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0714
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0614
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0514
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0414
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0314
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0214
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0114
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1213
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1113
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1013
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0913
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0813
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0713
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0613
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0513
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0413
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0313
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0213
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0113
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/comp-demo
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0106
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com