PNU (Pool Noodle Upright) Step 1 and 2: Text Instruction

Goal:  Flatwork Pool Noodle Upright (PNU) work is the value building stage for wrapping tightly that will be later put to your jump work. Your dog will learn to wrap both directions in a smooth and flowing motion around a PNU. Creating the wrap will help with tight turns and future handling manoeuvres.


  • PNU (see PNU lecture for options -
  • High value treats / toys

Suggested Training Area Size: Minimum 6' x 6' (2m x 2m)

Step 1. Shape the Behaviour  

You will shape the dog to go tightly around an upright. For shaping “around” you will want to deliver rewards near the upright but away from you. This behaviour of motion grows through the proper placement of your reward. Be patient and let the dog work out the reinforcement value for going tightly around the upright through your efficient placement of reinforcement.

Build value for the upright but be very careful to avoid allowing the dog to stall out at the upright or you may end up with nose or paw touch rather than a circle around the upright.

Your goal is to have your dog go clockwise around the pole if he is leaving from your left side and counter clockwise if he is leaving from your right side. This is an important detail as it will prevent your dog from cutting across your body to circle in the direction he feels most comfortable. Remember when using food to break off your sessions with a session of arousing play. We are looking for accuracy but with drive and enthusiasm.

Step 2. Use a Toy to Add Arousal

The dog will always move away from your side and go to the back of the PNU and wrap in a circular motion. The PNU circling starts with the “stirring the pot” hand motion from the Human Mechanics video. Dog on left, always use your left hand to “stir the pot” toward you. Dog on right, always use your right hand to “stir the pot” toward you. Your hand motion will become the cue on course.

Quickly move to using a tug toy to help create a fast arousing behaviour. Further along we will have lessons on building distance but only after your dog is keen to circle either direction.

Note: The “search” cue is permission to leave the work to go get a thrown cookie. Cue search then throw the cookie. We want your dog to get the cookie but then come back to the work immediately after they pick up and eat the cookie.

Trouble Shooting

If you are having difficulty make sure you use video to review your mechanics and timing and compare those to Susan's mechanics and timing. Keep your training sessions super short and review the video to plan your next session.

This topic contains 203 replies, has 62 voices, and was last updated by  Barbara 1 year ago.

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