Fluid Motion Blog

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Fluid Contacts 

I am a big believer in my dogs choosing their path in agility, I want my dogs to always choose what works for them, both physically and mentally. And in my opinion contacts are one of the “big” things that I like to let my dogs choose.
Every dog is different, their structure is different and where they are mentally is different. So when I start teaching my dogs their contact behavior I let the training be very fluid, I want my dog to tell me what works for them.  

All of my dogs start with the same “base”…

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Focus on Conditioning! 

Conditioning and fitness is a huge part of my training program with my dogs. When I am working on a skill with my dogs part of the process of teaching that skill is ensuring that my dog is properly conditioned. 

I look at the condition of the dog when it comes to an “agility problem” as well. If I have a student who has a contact or weave problem the very first thing I am going to address is whether the dog can perform that obstacle. Are they conditioned properly for the skill that is being asked? In my…

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Commitment to Distance – Switch Work 

In this video I am working Trip on some various Switch work with the cone.   

The Switch cue for my dogs means for them to turn away from me. In this video I am working on side switches, and front switches mostly.  A side switch is when the dog is on my side and I want them to turn away from me, where as a front switch is when the switch off the front of my body. 

This video will show both of these Switch positions, and in later blogs we will look into more advanced Switch work with sequencing. 


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The Dogs Choice

Last week I did a live lecture talking about how I teach my foundation for contacts. It was a lot of fun and all my students asked some really great questions!  One of the main questions that kept coming up was “what position do you want your dogs to perform on the contact?”

And my answer was “whatever they want.”

My philosophy for training dogs is that I want the dog to tell me what they want to do. The dog is the only one who knows what feels good both mentally and physically. I never want to force my…

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Distance and Drive – Part 1 – Cones 

In Part 1 of the Distance and Drive series, I will be talking about cone work and why I feel it plays a big part in distance training.

What is cone work? 

I start all of my foundation work with either cones or gates. I started many years ago with gates and I still use them to this day.  One of the main reason I started using cones is they are easier to get (as opposed to making gates), easier to pack around and travel with, and when I want to start teaching my dogs Tight or working on tight lines, the cones…

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Start Button Behaviors

Great article from Sarah!

The Cognitive Canine

Reducing stress, leveling out arousal, and achieving the optimum working state in our dogs are all things people in dog sports or dog training are interested in. Most of the emails I receive are about these things; people want help for their crazy dogs, their shy dogs, their too-eager dogs, and their reluctant dogs. There is one piece of information all of these people need, and it’s here, in detail, for free. Season of giving, and all.

A while back I…

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Thoughts on Punishment

Denise Fenzi

Punishment is used in training to change behavior.  It is a consequence the dog wishes to avoid.

Let’s use crooked sits as an example.  If your dog performs a crooked sit in heel position, you’ll want to make that behavior less likely next time. How might you use punishment?

You can with-hold (-) something that the dog wants like cookies, toys or praise when your dog sits crooked. You are using -P.

Or you can add (+) some sort of physical discomfort technique for the same purpose (collar…

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Moving Waits!

I love, love, love teaching Moving Waits!  Not only do I think that a moving wait is fantastic for teaching impulse control, it is also great for contacts and startlines!

The first thing all of my dogs start to learn as puppies is a moving wait, I teach it as a game, from puppyhood all the way to an adult.   This I think is a huge factor with teaching a Moving Wait, it has to be a game!  Making waiting a game instead of something the dog “has” to do, makes stopping on contacts fun and waiting at the…

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Teaching Discriminations

When I begin teaching my dog’s their discrimination I use cones as “markers” to help show my dogs the “ins and outs” of discrimination work.

In the diagram below I show where I place the cones, in this example I am using an Aframe and a Tunnel. But I will use a variety of discrimination’s, such as two tunnels, two jumps, a jump and a tunnel, tunnel and weave poles, etc, etc. I will place the cones (I use about three cones) in-between the two obstacles, these cones act as a marker for my dogs to “see” the…

Intro to Distance

I will be teaching my Intro to Distance class through Fenzi Dog Sports for the October term starting Oct 1st! (Registration is open today!)

During this class, I will be going over all of my foundation and flatwork exercises that I use with my dogs to begin teaching their distance skills.

I use cones to help build confidence and speed while I am working on their distance skills. Confidence is a huge part of distance work and in my opinion the most important!  When I want to start teaching my dogs any…

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