My Dog is ‘Ring Wise”
Have you heard, my dog is 'Ring Wise'? He seems to know this time is trialing, he is not going to get any reward and it's not going to be of much fun! As an avid competitor, I have heard these remarks so often, regardless of what you are competing, be it in Dog Obedience or Dog Agility. How can we train against being ring wise? Yes, I have good news for you, and we can train against it effectively. As a rule of thumb, training is not about training particular exercise, sometime taking your dog out for a long walk, swim, run, grooming, can be a great treats, reinforcement and a healthy way to build the bond. Here are 4 ways, you can choose to work on and overcome the 'ring wise' phenomena. What I want is to help you to total eliminate this 'ring wise' syndrome. 1. Building an ON and OFF switch, Building an ON and OFF switch or button allow us to quickly prep our dog into readiness for action. This also allow our dog to stay focus and it's usually pair with a series of actions and reinforcements. And an OFF switch turn off our dog drive into normal mode and they are allow back to their doggie self. With a strong ON and OFF switch, enable your dog to ALWAYS know when it's working time and when it's OFF time. 2. Build the Reinforcement, Building of reinforcement come with both fronts; (I) build and pair the reinforcement values right a series or sequence of exercises. This reinforcement history helps our dog to be persistent and drive towards the end of exercise you will have jackpot. (I) build and back chain the exercise to provide a series of familiar behaviors to predict the final exercise and of course the jackpot. Back Chain provide your dog a constant cues that he is moving into the right zone and his rewards or value of reinforcement is a given. With such cues or indication, helps our dog to persist to success. 3. Have a good tug game. Building a skill of a good tug game not only keep your dog focus it will also provide familiar feeling and mindset to to predict a good game of training. Tug game provide satisfaction in 'killing' the preys, it also provide restraints and control which is critical in competition. 4. Create and train as if, you are in the familiar environment I am not referring to place or venue, but rather, familiar tone of voice, body languages, cues, pre-cues, emotions as in training. As you would know by now. In training, we are relax, smile a lot, reward more, happy, high-tone and free with our praises. Just imagine, when you in a competition, all these familiar cues, pre-cues, body languages, emotions are NOT there. We become restrictive, reserved, hard, no smile due to butterflies in our stomach, your sensitive dog will realize it in seconds and they will breakdown or even give up, thus resulting in freezing, running away, ignore your commands. If we can make as same in training and trialing, our dog will not even know the difference as it's just all a game to them. With all these avenue available for us to work against ring wise, I'm sure , we are all on our way to a better performing dogs and above all have a great time with our dog no matter what dog sport discipline you have decided to embark. As always, have fun and stay positive.
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