Here we add a agility obstacle to our Flat Work Verbal Fun Games! The twist to the game is successful “listening” to the cues earns a “send” into the tunnel as the reward!
This teaches the dog to ONLY do tunnel when VERBALLY cued to do so.
Set up: U shaped tunnel.
Training: There are two training parts to this game.
Stage 1 – From a few metres back rev the dog up and send to the tunnel – ALWAYS cue the tunnel with a verbal (tunnel tunnel). Then rev the dog up and cue a control position (sit or drop), can the dog respond or does he steal the tunnel?
Stage 2 – Casually walk towards the tunnel entrance with your dog, at some point your dog will likely race off and take the tunnel (you say nothing). This distance is your current threshold distance. Go back behind this threshold and repeat Stage 1. When you cue a control position and your dog is successful then reward with a release to the tunnel – make sure you verbally cue the tunnel! Mix it up so the dog can’t anticipate if they are going to be sent or if another behaviour is going to be cued. Work up to even if your motion is cuing going into the tunnel but your voice is saying something else your “dog is listening to your words”! Wit Wit or a trick is a great test to this game!
With success, move closer and closer to the tunnel mouth so that eventually your dog can be standing right at the entrance and listening to your cues. If your still in the crate games stages of agility with a young dog you can play this game using “crate games”!
Tunnel Games apply: Call the dog to create a turn. No verbal reward straight forward.