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Want to train new behaviors faster? With fewer reps? Here’s what you need!

AgiNotes recently published an overview of an international survey about the changes in agility over the past few years and where agility enthusiasts see the sport heading.

One of the (many) things standing out was that the higher demands of the sport require you to train more and more repetitions with your dog, extending the training time and also raising the concern of overuse injuries resulting from all the reps.

While it’s true that as agility becomes more demanding, it also needs more training. But maybe there’s a way to change the way we look at training, be smarter about what we train… and even reduce the number of actual sport exercises?

I have my own approach to keep the training repetitions under control. Want to know what it is? Check out the newest blog post at The Moving Canine

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Linking physical skills to poisoned cues

Imagine giving your dog a cue during training, a cue that should indicate a well known behavior to your dog. Instead of happily following that cue with lightning speed and wagging tail, your dog delays responding to the cue. He may turn his head away, go sniffing or scratching, show lip licking and then, finally, slowly follows the cue… That’s the kind of effect poisoned cues tend to have.

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3 ways handler mechanics helps to boost your training

If you’d like your dog to become better and faster learner who is motivated and engaged during training sessions, then improving handler mechanics is one of the key things to work on. You don’t have to spend more time training your dog in order to get rid of stressing high or low behaviors like sniffing, walking away from the training session, barking, frantic movements. Having clear mechanics and reinforcement delivery will almost always result in a better training experience to you and your dog.

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Is variation in the movement a bad thing?

It may happen that when teaching new behaviors to our dogs, we would like all the repetitions to become as similar as possible. Especially when training something for competitive sports.

Let’s look at this from the movement perspective. What does good movement skill tell us? Does good movement skill mean there is no variation in the specific movement over the repetitions? Or is it the opposite – in order for the movement to be skillful, it needs to have variation in it?

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