May 04, 2006

Ready, Steady, Go Game

This game teaches the dog to wait at the start, and develops the self control necessary for the contact obstacles.

Get Tuffie to stand, sit or drop facing you, say ‘Go’ and back away presenting a handful of treats in front of his nose or a tug-toy. Don’t say anything other than ‘Go’ and don’t repeat it. Let him 'chase' you three times and end the session.

Next session, extend the time you ask Tuffie to wait before saying ‘Go’. Present the toy or treats after you have said go.

The next session, sit Tuffie off to the side of you facing the same way as you. Crouch into a semi-racing posture, this will be the signal that you are going to run. Ask for the sit, count two bananas, say ‘Go’ take a step or two and hold out the treat.

Over the next days or weeks add duration, waiting a few seconds longer, taking a few more steps before rewarding.

When Tuffie understands the game, before saying ‘Go’ add in a drawn out ‘Steady’ first. Be dramatic, you want to work him up to fever pitch.

Then put a ‘Ready’ and the front. Your goal is to have Tuffie quivering in anticipation as you say ‘Ready, steady’ then take off like a rocket as you say ‘Go’ to race you.

Next step to work towards is for Tuffie to stay as you walk away. At first walk before saying anything, later you can walk away saying 'Ready, steady'. Start with just one step, work up to some metres.

Then remove your body language as a cue. Stand still and straight to say 'Ready, steady, go!' then start running, or throw the toy or treat container.

Now try it in front of a jump, then a line of jumps.

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