For those who have missed some of our newsletter videos on puppy engagement, I will digress and explain that ENGAGEMENT MEANS THE DOG WANTS TO BE WITH YOU AND IT WANTS WHAT YOU HAVE.
To train new behaviors of any kind, you have to have a dog that is engaged with you. If your dog is not engaged and the handler wants to train, the only option is to use force, which is old school training.
This is video of Cindy taking a private agility lesson at Ann Braue's training center in Eau Claire, WI. Cindy's instructor in this video here is Jill Jones.
The point of this video is not to teach the viewer agility training, but rather for you to watch and see how focused Rush is on Cindy. While there is certainly a genetic component to engagement, it is also a learned skill.
The two DVDs I did with Michael Ellis titled THE POWER OF TRAINING DOGS WITH FOOD and THE POWER OF PLAYING TUG WITH YOUR DOG have large segments on teaching handlers how to get their dog engaged with them.
We train with Markers. While there will come a time in training where our high drive dogs require a correction, we never correct a dog during the learning phase of a behavior. We do 'NO' MARK the mistake and withhold the reward and ask the dog to repeat the exercise or behavior.
Rush has only had 4 agility lessons, but he has had a lot of obedience training. What you should see in this video is his behavior when he makes mistakes. Watch how he offers other behaviors when Cindy 'NO' marks a mistake.