The Games we play

 

 

Left, Bev is rewarding Kramer for a good recall with a game of tug.  Dogs find this game very rewarding but at one time trainers advised against teaching a dog to play tug because they feared it would cause a dog to become dominant and aggressive if they were allowed to win.  Now we know the immense value of developing the drive to play and how to harness the energy turning it into a highly motivating reward that is controlled by the trainer with a well-trained 'Release' command. 

 

Below left and right, Recall practice over a single jump at our indoor training facility.

 

Peter plays with Bev's German Short Hair Pointer, Kramer.  Peter enjoys playing will all the dogs and is known to give out treats now and and then! 

 

At the right Ed coaches Bert on our practice box.  We find this type of box useful to teach beginning dogs to climb onto the pedal to trigger the box.  We gradually tip the box up until the dogs are working it at an angle approximately that of a normal box.

Below, Pepper takes the ball from the one hole box we used in the beginning, and below right Pockets does the same.  The box style of the dogs has changed radically since we began training with a shoot and began using two hole boxes.  I believe that the two pawed hit-take-turn style would have been damaging to the dogs in the long run.  It is interesting to note that in the three flyball books I had obtained there was no mention of a shoot or the possibility of injury to the dogs inherent in teaching this style of box work - the flyball email list was the source of my information to retrain box technique.

This is Pepper's box technique now after retraining.  Little Pockets has changed her style as well.  Much lower impact on their joints and faster as well.