Cue Checker:  Text Instruction

Goal: This game will isolate the understanding of your verbal cues related to a jump without the help of your body. What is important is that you maintain the same position for every cue you “cue check”. 2 One Jump exercises will be demonstrated. Extension with the verbal cue “jump” and wrap/collect with the verbal cue “check check”.

Susan demonstrates the finished product of the “cue checking” game at the beginning of this video with all of Swagger’s one jump verbal cues and then explains how to create the cues that will become part of your handling progressions in relation to verbal cue understanding. The strength of your cues is important if you cannot be in position to help with your body. Independence allows us to move farther along in the course but at the same time if we fall behind the “cues” will guide the dog without us being there to physically support them.

Note: For the purposes of demonstration Susan changes Swaggers “jump” (JUMP) in extension cue to “baloney” and “wrap” (CHECK) to “tofu” this way you can see how she trains and adds the cue for the two one jump exercises from above. You will also see the placement of reinforcement for these cues as well.

Equipment: 1 jump and 1 jump bump. 

Set Up: Susan discusses in the video how to set up your  jump with using a bump in the front of the jump and the bar locked into position.

Suggested Training Area Size: 15‘ x 15’ (5m x 5m)

How to be successful with this exercise: It is important to remember your cues are created by placement of reinforcement in all these exercises so be conscious and aware in each of your training sessions where you are placing your reward and that the reward has value for your dog. It is also important that you always stay in the same position when asking for a cue.

Step 1: “Jump” in Extension: The cue “jump” means to power up and over the jump straight.

Step 2: “Check-Check” collect and wrap: The cue “check-check” is the dog collecting and turning around the wing of the jump toward you.

Because your jump has value your dog should leave you and take the jump, as he leaves say your new cue and reward the effort.

Advanced Training: For those of you with cues in place, you can play the game that Susan did with your dog at the beginning of this video. Remember to select a position for yourself and stay in that position for every cue you give. This way you know that your body is not influencing the dog’s decision on how to take the jump. You are looking for your dog to take the jump but with the power and degree of turn that you have cued. As advanced students consider your reinforcement, both placement and value. If your dog does not respond to your previously trained cue, withhold your reinforcer. You may consider a “pat and praise” reward if your dog does the behaviour but not to your level of training. If your dog’s response is brilliant remember to reward and CELEBRATE!