New evaluation date VOTE
Important eval prep info
Preparing your Trick list
To help things go smoothly for the evaluation, put the tricks you plan to do in order of easiest to hardest, including several extra just in case you need them.
See example image.
Please email a list of supplies you will need for your evaluation by the TUESDAY before your eval. You are welcome to use any props at TTK9. You are also welcome to bring your own props!
Warmups are important, but don't spend too much time on them. We need that energy for the lesson!
Pick a card from the deck
Start with plastic cutting cards (see last week), because they are sturdier.
Transition to Jumbo cards for the final trick, to set your dog up for success! A dog's mouth is big, making small cards significantly more difficult.
Great trick for therapy dog work!
Close the mailbox
Use the nose target frisbee to help your dog target the right spot to close the mailbox.
This is a harder trick than it would seem. It takes a lot of understanding and drive for the task. Keep training sessions very short. It is common for dogs to take leaps forward, and then go backwards occasionally. While difficult, the best thing to do is go back a step in the process. While it feels like going backwards, all you're doing is revitalizing the game for your dog. You will move forward again quickly!
This is the "channel" style of teaching weave poles.
Start with them apart as shown. Very slowly and over the course of many training sessions begin to straighten them out, until completely straight.
If your dog misses or skips pole(s), go back at least one step by widening them again.
The weave poles I have are currently unavailable, but the one linked is a less expensive kit. Put 2 rows of 3 next to each other, staggered, to create a channel with this type of set.
While this trick is easy for some dogs, others struggle and might need a lot of encouragement! Dogs with a strong "leave-it" often need the most reassurance that this is okay.
Let your dog see you put the treat on the string under something.
Only put the string in a 2" the first time, to set your dog up for success when learning the game. You can always make it harder as you go!
Pull a wagon
You can use a wagon, pull behind toy, or I'll even accept pulling a chair on wheels!
This trick can be super SCARY to some dogs because of the movement and often the sound of the wheels. It can be helpful to brace the wagon a little, so it doesn't move too erratically.
Jump through covered hoop- complete!
This is the final step of this trick. Your dog does not have to jump through something completely opaque, there only needs to be a significant visual obstruction.
Your hoop does not have to be very far off the ground. 2" is fine for most dogs.
Hide your head
This simple trick can be used towards your novice title, as an off-list trick.
Put it in between 2 more difficult tricks to give your dog a win and revitalize a training session!
This video shows how to work your dog through successive approximation, including when they are really struggling. Batman has been doing a LOT of "out & around cone" work lately, which is why gets "stuck" circling the chair.
Hold a basket
Choose a basket/bucket with a handle that your dog is most likely to take easily. Start with solid handles, similar to the PVC pipe. Soft handles often cause dogs to get chompy and chew the handle instead of hold.
Use a CHILDREN'S skateboard for your foundation work. This will allow you to tighten the wheels so they don't spin so freely as to shoot out from under your dog, potentially causing fear.
If your skateboard moves easily, brace it in place so that your dog has an easy & positive first experience. Slowly allow it to roll more freely as your dog masters each step.
If your dog is having a difficult time moving forward on an easy board, play with where you're placing your lure. Often times the positioning of our lure makes it or breaks this trick.
Advanced trick = front paws on the board.
Expert trick = 3 paws on the board.
Get all 4 feet into the box
Batman has done this a LOT. I abridged a very long process in this video.
Don't pick up your dog's feet & put them in the box! That is cheating. Also, this trick is far more about the journey and less the destination. Doing this trick right is powerful!
It is possible to lure a dog into a box that is the size of their normal stance. However, lured dogs will never achieve the level of mastery required to graduate to a small box. A dog must fully understand the trick to do it to that extent... they must become a Thinking K9 ;). That is achieved through "Free Shaping."
"Free Shaping" is a type of training where you don't tell your dog anything, you don't lure, you are completely hands-off. You wait patiently for your dog to offer a behavior that is closer to what you want, even though it's not what you want it to look like in the end. When they do, click & reward!
You will have the best success by putting your dog on a leash for this! Many dogs become confused in the beginning and walk away. The leash will stop them, but it's also important to click and reward a LOT in the beginning, to teach them the game; Offer one behavior= Get a reward. They don't even have to put one foot in the box in the beginning, it can just be them looking at it! Every dog will start at a different place. Giving your dog easy wins will encourage them to offer more new behaviors, more often! Click & reward the little things!
This trick, if free shaped, is powerful enough to build large amounts of confidence in your dog! If you're seeking even more confidence building, check out Karen Pryor's "101 things to do with a box." I have also found much success using this to rehabilitate very serious fear cases.
You can use a normal wooden ladder, or make your own with objects around the house! It doesn't have to be lifted off the ground at all!
Make this harder by placing the objects on the ground in varying directions. Start easy with a triangle. Make it harder when they can easily walk through the pile without hitting an object with their feet more than once.
Batman tapped into his inner clown in for this one 😂
This was fun to do! The best part was thinking of different things that could be used as a SAFE balance beam and then testing them out! This was more about enrichment & bond than actually walking a beam.
The beam at TTK9 is 12" wide, if you want to use it for the evaluation. We can also make it 4" & 8" wide, or into a split beam (4" beam, 4" space, 4" beam).
Not everyone has a piano at home, and that's okay. We offer a wide variety of tricks, far more than you will ever need for any level evaluation. If you don't have or want a piano, it's okay to skip. You are also welcome to use ours during the evaluation, of course! The large floor piano is a novice trick and the small upright piano is an advanced trick.
Lure placement is everything with this trick. Play around with it, especially the height! Lure much higher than you think you need.