I want to give a shout out to the students and the dogs in my Level 1 Tricks Class. We’re only into week two and I’m so impressed with the progress already!
I love teaching tricks and freestyle movements so these classes are a hoot for me but more importantly I believe they really help the owners hone valuable training skills. Teaching obedience to a dog is very important and lays the foundation of many tricks but the skill set required is fairly rudimentary. It is relatively easy to create compliance for a sit command by modeling and luring into position. Tricks on the other hand often require a bit more finesse, particularly for positions and behaviors that aren’t typical for the dog.
The group is really finding out the importance of timing, how to use successive approximation to build behaviors, what to mark, what to ignore, what to interrupt and how big of an impact the tiniest adjustment can have! They are also realizing that Patience is KEY. 🙂 Sometimes the waiting and allowing the dog time to process is the best way to move forward quickly. Baby steps lead to success.
Our Level one group will be spending 5 weeks together learning things like; balance the bone, high five, take a bow, sit pretty, wave bye, bye and roll over. We’re starting with building steadiness and focus and by the end everyone should have a decent repertoire. Level 2 & 3 classes move on to more movement oriented tricks and chaining behaviors. We’ll let you know when we get to those!
For now, we’re laying the building blocks and having a great time!