In this video I demonstrate proofing exercises I do for the go-out, teaching how to maintain a strong go out focus. The first part of the video features my green 2 year old dog. Seven already knows how to mark but… I want to make sure that he can hold his mark even if the judge walks up or there are distractions and noise happening outside the ring.
I have already trained Seven to focus when given his mark cue, to look out between the jumps to the end of the go out location. For videos on how I teach my dog to mark – see my training online short Teach the Mark for Go-outs & Glove and my Step by Step Open/Utility video (both on sale to Sept 15). Click the link below to read the full article and watch the video training tip.
As time goes on I will GRADUALLY increase the amount of distraction and work towards increasing the duration I want him to keep his focus. Did you notice the helium ballons tied at the dog’s eye level to the
right – another intuitive way to add distractions in your environment.
As a variation to always reinforcing him when he holds his mark I will actually throw in a Go-out cue ( see time stamp 2:50) and you can see that he really had to think about that – this is one of first times we
have worked this so he will get stronger.
In the second part of this video (starting at time stamp 4:27) I demonstrate some advanced proofing for marks with Pounce, My experienced OTCH girl. At times she has struggled with holding focus to the go out location. I actually developed these techniques to help her strengthen her ability to mark and to hold focus on a mark cue.
You will see me do a variety of proofing exercises using a ball as both a distraction and a reward. With Pounce in the ready position, I give her the mark cue and then change position, moving behind her and to the
other side. When she holds her focus I reward her with the ball. If she falters I remind her by cueing the mark again and look for a shorter period of focus before I use my marker word and reward her with a toy.
Some Proofing Variations for the Advanced Dog
- With the dog in the heel position, give the mark cue, move forward or back several steps.If they hold the mark give the go out cue, use your mark word or a clicker to let them know they have done the
correct behaviour and reward with their favourite toy.
- With the dog in heel position, move behind the dog. If they hold the mark give the go-out cue and then throw the ball (or toy) in front of them and release them to it.
- With the dog in heel position, move forward several feet, directly in line with the stantion and give the go out cue. Once the dog reaches the stantion give the cue to turn and sit and then throw the ball, BUT
DO NOT RELEASE THEM. Give the cue to go over a jump and then use your marker word and release them to the ball.
In the end this is all about keeping it interesting, fun and engaging your dog to think and process, they are so smart!!!