Training Tip Tuesday – Jumping Foundations Take-Off Side of Jump

So after a break last week from Training Tip Tuesday because, oh did I mention… It was my birthday, we are back.

Mum is still has me working hard on my jumping foundations. Think she is feeling a bit inspired after all the bars stayed up in the RQH Jumping run last Saturday night. We also had a moment yesterday morning when we were doing some jumping grids in the front yard and mum thinks I actually thought about how I was going to jump… I thought mum was going to cry with excitement. Silly mum.

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Training Tip Tuesday – Basic Bum Strength with the Bar

Wow what a huge day it was yesterday! Our Marketing Monday post which was a bit of a marketing case study from our perspective on One Mind Dogs went ballistic. The guys over at One Mind Dogs were interested in what we wrote and shared it. Now feeling the pressure to back up on the Training Tip Tuesday. Continue reading

Training Tip Tuesday – Bum Strength

Mum’s per-occupation with my rear end continues and we have spent a bit of time over the holidays working on rear end strength.¬† Mum borrowed a book from our training club’s library written by a lady called Linda Mecklenberg who is pretty good at this agility stuff. She has written a book and does some online courses and stuff specifically about jumping skills.

140107 ReadingSo what we have learnt is that us dogs tend to jump in one of two styles:

Inverted: this is what I more a lot of (at the moment). I use my front legs more to push myself up and lift myself over bars. My head is normally up higher than my shoulders (withers). It means I have less awareness of what my bum is doing and while I am ok on flats (except when I am flattening out to chase mum) it can be a real problem with me dropping bars on tight corners (or what is known as jumping in collection). Here is a little YouTube clip of another dog jumping in an inverted style.

Rounded: this is where us dogs use our rear end to lift ourselves over the bar. The head is typically lower than the withers, the spine arched over the bar and front feet are often tucked in until they clear the bar. Here is some pictures from an article about this Linda Mecklenberg training that show the way this dog is jumping versus the one in the video.

So how to train this rounded style and back end strength? We have been doing a lot of this really simple exercise with one bar and plenty of treats. A note about this is that it is physically hard work so if you do some of these than just do a few and then lots of pats and play (have that ball or toy ready).

What we do is get me to sit about one stride out from the bar. It isn’t very far so it doesn’t give me space to take off with my front legs. Mum then holds the treat low (ie on the ground) about one stride out on the other side. On release I jump the bar. If I don’t knock the bar I get a “yes”, the treat and lots of praise. If I do knock the bar I get a “oh no” but still in a nice voice and we try again.

Once I understood the concept of what mum was wanting me to do at a low height we moved to in increments to my normal jumping height. Working on a low height doesn’t really do too much as I don’t have to fully use those bum muscles. If I do drop the bar a few times mum gives me a break and play or drops the bar just a little lower so I get success before putting it up again. Remember it is hard work and it needs to be fun for me to be motivated.

There are plenty of other exercises like this we have been working on that we will write up in coming weeks but in the meantime happy training.

Training Tip Tuesday – Twists & Turns

It’s coming up to Christmas time and have been busy with parties so always good for a few dancing moves with twists & turns. Actually Dances with Dogs is one of the many dog activities where the twists and turns get used. Even with our limited knowledge of the huge amount of dog sports and activities that are about, we use the twist and turn in so many places. In Rally we use them for the 90 and 180 pivots. For agility we use them for turning me away from mum towards a jump or obstacle. We use them as stretches and just for fun playing around the house.

So what is a twist or turn. Well simply just doing a circle beside mum. We just call it “twist” on the left hand side turning away from mum and “turn” on the right hand side turning away from mum as they are the terms mum started using in Rally O training. Others that we train with use “back” for both.

How mum taught it to me was simply using food to lure me around. She put the food down at my nose height or just below (so I don’t jump up) and just to the outside. Then it was simply a matter of luring me around. Our “yes” word at the end and very importantly a treat.

Here is some video of me doing the “Twist” and me doing the “Turn“. Really need to talk someone else into helping us with videos rather than mum trying to video and do the trick at the same time but hopefully it gives you an idea. A trick that has practical uses but also just a fun easy trick. As you get better at it the human can just use the word or a hand sign (or both) rather than luring around… it is a great party trick. Oh yeah that is right…. Christmas Party time!

131130 Xmas Party










Training Tip Tuesday – But I have something to say

I was driving mum a bit nuts last night at training. We are now up to the Rally Excellent level after passing Rally Advanced the other month. Besides learning some new moves for this next level I also need to do something called the Honor. From what I gather it is either being in a sit or down and being told to stay there while the other dog does the course. It is a lot like the sit and drops we have to do in obedience, except I am still on lead (just a long one) and mum can talk to me during it…. So unlike obedience where I just sit or lay in position off lead in this Rally Honor thing I feel compelled to talk back to mum (she calls it barking) and it turns out judges don’t like this two-way communication during this exercise. So hence mum has a dual activity of ‘speak’ and ‘quiet’ that we are doing some extra work on at the moment.

So speak is just that…. Speaking. But rather than teach a quiet dog to speak, what mum has been taught is put a command to when I am ‘talking’. So this means when I am there ‘talking’ mum says the word ‘speak’ and uses a hand signal, which for us is her moving her hand from clenched to wide open (jazz hand). She does this while I am ‘talking’ so I associate both the word and signal with the ‘talking’.

Training Tip - Speak (3) Training Tip - Speak (1)

Now it turns out that the real aim of this for mum is “quiet”. So once I have done “speak” she then changes her hand into a beak kinda shape and says “quiet”. Now that is really when I get told I am a good boy and get the treats. Obviously if you are concentrating on teaching the “speak” than use your “yes” word and treat after “speak’ but mum seems more keen on “quiet” so I tend to get more praise and treats after that… not sure why???

Training Tip - Speak (2)

So our 1st Excellent level Rally O trial is in early January so expecting there will be lots more practicing of this quiet before then.


If you haven’t been sniffing around 1st World Dog before than check out previous Tuesday Training Tips at Training Tips 1st World Dog Style and if you would like to get Tuesday Training Tips and other 1st World Dog stories sent straight to you than follow over on the side or do the Like thing on Facebook.

Paws Up and have a great Tuesday with lots of speaking.


Training Tip Tuesday – Shake

I do love a good shake…. especially just after I get out of the water and stand really close to mum and give a really good shake (mum not normally as excited) but this is a more polite shake today. This shake is the greeting shake and I especially love doing this as a trick for the little humans that we meet on our day to day journeys. The little humans that are a bit shy seem to have a lovely smile after we shake hands.

So how do you do shake? Well it is pretty easy really. First you need to put your bum on the ground (otherwise known as sit). Now when teaching to shake it is much easier if the human is down at your level (ideally sitting or kneeling in front of you). They need to hold their hand out palm facing up just in front of your paw (only just off the ground). When you raise your paw into the palm they need to say “yes” and give you a treat. Don’t have them manually move the paw into the hand. Maybe just nudge it but otherwise just have patience and have the human move their hand closer to the ground and your paw. A lovely happy “yes” and treat and then do it a couple more times (remember don’t over do it). Once you start to get it then they can lift their hand a bit higher and over time do a shake from standing (that is why little humans are great at this… they are more my level to shake with).

Remember we can also be a bit like Zoolander… I only shake with my left. So get your human to try both sides and see which one seems more natural. Mum has tried to get me to shake with my right and I am sure we could work on it… just like Derek Zoolander…. but for the moment I just shake left.

So happy shaking pals… hope you enjoy a fun Training Tip Tuesday and don’t forget to check out more on the Training Tips st World Dog Style Page and check out Facebook and Instagram for more 1st World Dog fun.

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Training Tip Tuesday – Targets

We have done a couple of different training sessions (albeit slightly quieter as I am still not allowed to run and jump post the nasty tick incident) and that has bought a couple of things top of mind; i) going back to basics in teaching behaviours and ii) the usefulness of a target.

So what is a target? Well we did the google thing and man are there some complicated descriptions. 1st World Dog style…. something for me to focus on. This can be as simple as a piece of plastic, wood or paper. As I am pretty food motivated (in case you hadn’t realised than check out my Recipe Book) when we are learning something than the target and food are normally pretty closely related. Here are some examples of of what can be used…

This one is nice and big…

131105 Target Training (1)

This one, a yoghurt container lid, fits nicely into the treat container.

131105 Target Training (4)

Opps…. in trouble for running away and trying to eat the target (what not to do!)

131105 Target Training (2)

But in my defence it smelt of cheese….

131105 Target Training (3)

So what to do with it. At its most basic when I touch the target mum says “yes” and I get a treat. Often the treat is waiting for me on the target but sometimes, like if I am likely to head straight for the target and not do whatever I am supposed to do first, then mum will place the treat on the target as she says “yes”.

One activity for using the target is getting me to run away from mum. A bit like the Touch & Out game, just rather than mum throwing the food it is already out on the target (also means I have to be good at me stays… and don’t forget to randomly treat for good stays when doing targets). Here are some videos of me running towards mum and also running out from mum.

There are all sorts of other things that can be done with targets in shaping movements by moving the target slowly around to create a specific line, doing contacts in agility or even playing soccer! More of these to come on future Tuesdays but in the spirit of Training Tips 1st World Dog Style this is just a little bit to practice and have some fun with.