Click image for a breakdown of general rally scoring.
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Warmups from previous weeks

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*Foundation activity

Always begin with focus work, such as foundation recalls & focus trees. Then go into easy commands to turn your dog's thinking cap on. Commonly sits and downs are used for this.

  • Front pivots on foot target.
  • Heel position pivots on foot target.
  • Paper plate fronts (you pretend to stand on a paper plate, make quarter turns & have your dog sit squarely in front).
  • Send to foot target with a 3' goal. 

Out & around cone

*Foundation activity

This is by far the hardest foundation exercise we do. Take your time, wait for your dog to offer behavior instead of trying to instruct them. Capture the behaviors that get you closer to your end goal, even if they don't accomplish it fully.

REFRAIN FROM LURING around the cone! Luring will not work once we start adding distance.

Several of the exercise we are working on will build towards a few different signs. Here is an example of working positions at a distance (foot target is faded out).

You will notice that my dog didn't go around the cone. I encourage going around the cone, as it will set your dog up for a straighter sit. With that said, eventually it is important to teach both ways. Master going around first, before teaching the swing.

Please don't move ahead, as this is a delicate exercise that cannot be forced.

Down Hand-signal

 

*Foundation activity

Important tip!

The hand signal you choose for Down matters greatly! Most people automatically point to the floor for down. However, that is confusing to dogs once we begin teaching down at a distance. If you point to the floor, your dog will always creep up to you and down. Changing the hand signal to something else can make a world of difference. See video for suggestions.

Introducing the lower foot target

*Foundation activity

Lower foot targets help with teaching Sit & Down, while maintaining a target for your dogs so we can get distance.

Introduce the low foot target just like you did the bucket, with luring your dog and rewarding them for touching it. Then encourage your dog off again (NO treat), and command them back on with a click & treat.

Sit, Down, Stands on low foot target

*Foundation activity

Weekly Goal: 2' send-out and successful sit. You can practice Sit and Stand as much as you want, but do NOT practice many down's, because dogs tend to really like it (so they offer it more) and you don't want your dog overly offering that behavior in Rally. Stand will take a significantly long time to master. 

Common errors that will show you that you are expecting too much from your dog:

  • You don't lure fast enough. If your dog doesn't do a command the FIRST time you say it, go to them and lure WITHIN 1/2 a second. 
  • Your dog isn't leaving your hand when you try to send them away from you. Dog's won't leave your hand if they think there's food in it. A flat open hand can help your dog realize that you aren't holding a cookie.
  • Your dog isn't going all the way out to the target before looking back at you. Decrease the distance you're asking your dog to go to target. You're trying to do too much too soon.
  • Your dog is coming off the target during position changes. This has many causes. Decreasing distance fixes many of them.

 

Also keep in mind the value of reward placement. To reinforce distance commands, reward by tossing treats behind your dog!

Heeling backwards

*Foundation activity

Spin & Twirl

*Foundation activity

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29. Left About Turn – While heeling, the handler will make an about turn to the left, while at the same time the dog must move around the handler to the right and into heel position.

35. Call Front – Return to Heel –While heeling, the handler stops forward motionand may command/signal the dog to front. The handler may take several steps backward. The dog must come and sit in front. The dog must stay while the handler walks around behind the dog to returnto heel position. The handler must pause before heeling forward.(Stationary)

13. Call Front– Finish Right – Forward – While heeling, the handler stops forward motionand calls the dog to front. The handler may take several steps backward. The dog must come and sit in front. Without the handler moving their feet, the dog must finish to the right.As the dog clears the handler’s path, the handler will heel forward before the dog returns to heel position.(Stationary)

14. Call Front – Finish Left – Forward– While heeling,the handler stops forward motionand calls the dog to front. The handler may take several steps backward. The dog must come and sit in front. Without the handler moving their feet, the dog must finish to the left. As the dog clears the handler’s path, the handler will heel forward before the dog returns to heel position. (Stationary)

15. Call Front – Finish Right – Sit –While heeling, the handler stops forward motionand calls the dog to front. The handler may take several steps backward. The dog must come and sitin front. Without the handler moving their feet, the dog must finish to the right and sitin heel position. (Stationary)

16. Call Front – Finish Left – Sit –While heeling, the handler stops forward motionand calls the dog to front. The handler may take several steps backward. The dog must come and sitin front. Without the handler moving their feet, the dog must finish to the left and sitin heel position. (Stationary)

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You have now learned almost all Novice signs. Now on to Advanced signs! All Advanced courses are done off leash!

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Pivots

*Foundation activity

 

116. HALT – Pivot Right – Forward –While heeling, the handler halts and the dog sits. The dog and handler pivot 90° to the right togetherand heel forward. (Stationary)

117. HALT – Pivot Left – Forward –While heeling, the handler halts and the dog sits. The dog and handler pivot 90° to the Left togetherand heel forward. (Stationary)

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106. HALT – 90° Pivot Right – HALT –While heeling, the handler halts and the dog sits. The dog and handler pivot 90° to the right together and the dog sitsin heel position. (Stationary)

107. HALT – 90° Pivot Left – HALT –While heeling, the handler halts and the dog sits. The dog and handler pivot 90° to the left together and the dog sitsin heel position. (Stationary)

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112 HALT–180°Pivot Right –HALT–While heeling, the handler halts and the dog sits. The dog and handler pivot 180° to the right together and the dog sitsin heel position. (Stationary)

113.HALT–180°Pivot Left –HALT–While heeling, the handler halts and the dog sits. The dog and handler pivot 180° to left together and the dog sitsin heel position. (Stationary)

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Registration is open!
While we are in social isolation now, it will not last forever. We hope to be back together again in the beginning of May. With that said, even in the unlikely event it is extended, online learning will continue, as well as new options. We are looking into using Zoom meetings so there can be more interaction and real time feedback!

 
Rally Courses (recommended) & Ninja Doggo are open for registration.