You know you need a good reinforcer. And you know that playing with toys has great benefits specific to the sport of dog agility. For most handlers, toys are easier to throw, carry, and manage on course than food. Tugging is a complex skill made up of several different parts, and just like training weaves
When does your agility run start? My run starts when my dog is next in line to run. I cue her to tug when the dog in front of us is halfway done, and I enter the ring as instructed by the gate steward, crossing through a magical barrier that separates the agility ring from
In the past month, I’ve had several emails asking which skills I teach to a young dog first. When you have a new dog or puppy, trainers want to get everything right from the start and this causes a lot of stress. Most trainers focus on behaviors like recalls, or sits and downs. But there’s
In this episode of the Bad Dog Agility Show, Sarah shows you how to get your dog to release their tug toys quickly and happily. Many agility handlers have a great toy that their dog loves but they can’t use in training because the dog never lets it go–and they often feel bad when it
In the video below, Sarah introduces 14-week-old Applejack to a variation of the 2 Toy Game. Sarah will tug with the puppy, cue a release, immediately throw the toy on release, call the puppy back to her using an identical toy, and tug with the puppy again on the second toy. This game will build
Dog agility trainers understand the importance of developing drive in their dogs, and many utilize tugging with toys to create focus, emphasize enthusiasm, and nurture the bond between handler and dog. Yet many trainers struggle with teaching their dog to release toys in a way that doesn’t dampen their enthusiasm for the game. The toy
In this video, Esteban highlights some key points in a retrieve and demonstrates how to combine it with start line work.
Remember our 9 week old puppy demonstrating our three step method for teaching a release while tugging? He’s now one year old with a beautiful understanding of both the release and the “get it”.
In the video below, Sarah teaches her new border collie puppy Venture to release a tug toy. Trainers will often discourage people from teaching a release to puppies because they fear it may decrease drive. These trainers will advocate either taking the toy when the dog happens to drop it, or wrestling it from their