Growing RZ: Text Instruction
Goal: This lesson is to grow our close Reinforcement Zone (RZ) Shadow handling from Lesson 2. We will work a few exercises within this set up. The longer distances require your dog use his body to drive in and power down to get into position. All very important for agility as your RZ changes with speed forward and stopping or slowing to cue upcoming handling maneuvers.
Equipment: Leash, food, toy. Cones for marking your running path.
Suggested Training Area Size: 40' x 40' (12m x 12m)
Step 1: Position the cones as in the video to give you a guide to run in a circular pattern.
Step 2: Work RZ by recalling your dog into RZ. Start with short distances of your recalls and build up to longer distances. The longer distances require your dog use his body to drive in and power down to get into position. All very important for agility as your RZ changes with speed forward and stopping or slowing to cue upcoming handling maneuvers. You may or may not use a leash depending on the distractions present or the level of understanding your dog has for Reinforcement Zone.
Step 3: Walk/jog around your coned area with your dog on the “outside” of you these will be called your “outside” circles. Remember to work both your left and your right sides. One side may be stronger than the other. Balance your training by working more on your weak side.
Step 4: Work “inside circles. Your dog will be on the “inside” between you and your cone guides. Work both left and right sides.
Step 5: Create a bigger circle of cones with a centre focus for adding front crosses to join two circles in your flat work.
If you are having trouble with your mechanics of jogging and rewarding your dog work this exercise without your dog first. Practice the mechanics of watching your dog, running in a circle and practice rewarding your dog.
If your dog is jumping up as you deliver the reward revisit Prep School: IYC it is just a simple IYC to have your dog allow you to bring down the treat while moving. Practice this mechanical skill while walking. If your dog lifts his front paws conceal the food in your hand.
The work of keeping the paws on the ground is what brings the food down to your dog, he may need to be reminded of this simple IYC training.