Go-Arounds Revisited - "Station to Station Game" | Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer: Blog Edition

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Go-Arounds Revisited - "Station to Station Game"

We worked on go-around again, where Wally has to go-around an object I point out and then come back to front position. We worked on this before with some...interesting results and I thought of something of a game to maybe spice it up a bit and teach the concept some more.

We went to the neighborhood playground and I mapped out where the "stations" would be. These were locations where there's something for him to go-around pretty easily. I would go to the different places and cue a go-around, click and treat when we did it right, then run over to the next station. Do the same thing, then go to the next station, and so on.

To begin with, I got him going all excited and eager for the game. Then we went to the first station and cued go-around. He ran around it and came to the front. He got rewarded and I sent him around again. Another reward and then we went to the next station. We did the same thing there. While going to the next place, I played with him some more, had him jumping up and down, and then went on.

This time, I made him wait a bit, and this got him staring at me like "send me already!" I cued a sit first, which had him take a some steps before he realized what I said. He did sit and then I sent him around and he shot around the pole and came to front. Did it again, and this time I cued him to go-around again right after he finished the first one, which he did. Let him come back for his reward, and the ran off to the next place.

At this station, I stopped further away and told him to go-around. He did it. Gave him his reward and started like I was running to someplace else, but I stopped fast and told him to go-around again, pointing at the signpost. This mixed him up a bit, and he did the same motion but not around the object, but I cued him again, and this time he got it.

We did this a few more times and then just jumped around and had some fun and he ran around like a crazy dog, looking all happy - he loves to run - and I guess that used up some leftover energy or something because then he looked at me at my side waiting to start walking.

Hopefully, this helped him learn or cement what the go-around is. He did it very well especially considering the whole exercise/game was completely different, and usually games do help him pick things up.