Often we train via repetition- drill, as it were. My personal favorite drill is the recall. I want my dog to have no other thought in its’ head when it hears come other than ‘ooh, go to mom now!’, so I train for that endlessly and brook no failures. But often on the agility course the dog will do an obstacle perfectly… and when you ask for it again the dog will seem to sigh and slouch through the weaves, tail down and ears sulking. This dog loses motivation with repetition!
There are plenty of ways to combat your prima donna (or prim don)’s attitude.
Don’t repeat! If your dog does an obstacle the way you want them to, move on don’t practice it more for a little bit.
Reward for the second… or third… repetition Keep your dog guessing on when he’ll be rewarded.
Reward more! If your dog is only rewarded the first time, of course they don’t want to do it again!
Try a different angle. Okay, you aced the weaves from my left… let’s go through this tunnel from the other side, on the right! And let’s come from the side a little, and maybe faster.
Speed it up. If your dog was walking before, ask for speed.
Add another obstacle to the sequence- go jump-weave-jump-weave-tunnel instead of weave, weave, weave. Wouldn’t you get bored, too?
Drills should never be boring Keep things upbeat! Keep things fun! If your dog gets bored, do something else. Nothing needs to be learned in one day. If something needs to be learned in one day, then you’ve waited too long to teach it!