Attention and Targeting

Attention & Targeting are base level concepts that are in effect with any cooperative work between dog and handler.

This is Where Behavior Starts

Check it out on YT

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Pawsitive Vybe S2E4 – Recapping Key Concepts

The 3 concepts we’ve covered so far:Attention and Targeting, and Threshold are active in nearly every cooperative skill you do with your dog. Let’s look at them again with a focus on leveraging them.

The Purpose and Value of Recognizing Shapes in Disc Dog Freestyle

Shapes are created by the position and movement of dog, handler, and disc. And shapes can be created by the dog, the handler, and the placement of the disc. Shapes are a fact of disc dog freestyle.

When the dog leaves the handler for a catch, that tends to create a line. When the dog is away from the handler and moves across the field to make a catch, as in a Zig Zag or Around the World, that tends to create a Shape.


    1. Ron,

      please can you tell me how can I post embedded youtube?
      and also can you delete my last comments ? Thank you

      1. Regular members cannot inject html into comments. Just post the link and I’ll whip up the embed for you.

    1. @:40 seconds he wound up in heel and you didn’t pay him… that was the first time he actually came into heel position… anticipate it and mark it a hair early and you’ll add value…
      @1:37 – this would be a good time to dismiss – before he checks out…
      Are you marking the heel behavior?
      @2:09 – another good place to dismiss – Go Do Dog Stuff!
      @2:25 – Be careful of the coincidence of him stopping and you changing your direction – it looked consequent to me, probably to Zo as well…

      Good job…
      A little more dismissal after he gets some cookies – force him away and then let him stew a bit… he should start to hang around a bit more trying to figure out what’s working to get cookies – after dismissal you can wait for some duration in heel before you mark and reinforce…
      Be careful of that happenstance consequence of him stopping or sniffing and you providing an action that looks as if it might be consequent.
      Preemptively mark and reinforce at times, grabbing that hauling ass to heel – it doesn’t matter if he intended to do a fly by instead of stick with you – all that matters is that you capture it there… we’ll talk in the hangout about this, Cassi.

    1. Lose the longline!

      And don’t call him to start the game. Start with Dismissal – Go Do Dog Stuff! and capture him coming back in reinforcing with his favorite disc thing. You are desperate to get him to play – he knows that – play it coy – hard to get.

      The first 30 seconds was inconsequent reinforcement. You get all excited while he’s checked out doing nothing – he thinks he’s the shit. He’s doing exactly what you want him to do. Just listen to the tone of voice and the pace of the vocalizations by you, that is highly reinforcing.

      @:34 Now you move in with the roughhousing reinforcement – he’s totally cool – “My Mom loves this!”

      @:55 he chased a roller. Where was the mark? How would the mark compare to the kind of reinforcement you were giving him up to this point in the session?

      @1:01 – he releases the environment and streaks towards you. Did you mark this?

      All those questions are rhetorical, BTW… 😉

      OK… so, what to do?

      Walk out with no longline, just a regular leash. Let him get excited on the way to the field. Unleash him and immediately dismiss him. Start walking – choose to heel with disc reinforcement. Mark his releasing the environment and hooking up with you – anything close to heel position – reward with a roller. Say nothing but,”Yes!”

      If he goes after it, get excited. If not, do nothing and keep walking. Repeat. You can pick up discs that he has left out there as you are walking for choose to heel. If he goes back after a disc, mark it,”YES!” and fire out another roller. If he chases it, get excited and attempt to engage. If he checks out, start walking.

      If you do get him engaged in play, get excited and get 1 or 2 reps and then dismiss – Go Do Dog Stuff… Shape him coming back into the game.

      I’ve set this up for you as a “Choose to Heel” exercise – you might want to try reorientation to you after he starts to get some success with the Choose to Heel to speed things up. I hesitate to give this lower criteria to you as your criteria for Zodiac because it can seem desperate and there’s a good chance he’ll just do a fly by or look at you get you excited and then check out again. The lower criteria of reorientation to you can be worked with cookies in the same manner as choose to heel – you mark the moment he stops sniffing and looks towards you – as he’s reorienting his body towards you.

      Work “Choose to Heel” with cookies in separate sessions to condition the behavior and make it likelier to happen when you have discs.

      That’s about it, Cassi.

      This is a standard mistake that people make when trying to get their dogs to play. You just want it too much and you’re sending out tons of good energy while the dog is doing nothing, or even worse, the wrong things, and that is very reinforcing. Much more reinforcing than chasing discs which is probably when you get all serious on him.

      Also the longline is a killer, both in terms of his comfort and mobility and his lack of access to the environment which he finds stimulating. Use dismissal instead. You become the resource that he doesn’t have access to out there by dismissing him and making him leave to go sniff that stuff. Once he finds out that it kind of sucks and if he’s engaging with you you become engaging, he’ll be there. Then you capitalize on it, get a rep or two of disc play then dismiss him.

      Hope this helps!

  1. Dude! I did loose the long line and then I played keep away ALL OVER The neighborhood! The area is not fenced, And so its a safety issue until I can keep his attention!

    Start with Dismissal – hum ok. 🙂

    Shape him coming back into the game. ..ok gotcha…
    and the “mark” is just a “yes”

    and yes i do so desperately want him to play! lol
    And he is so freaking awesome for disc inside!

    Ok, classic newbie mistake! Sigh,
    back to square one, ok, maybe we never even did square one! lol

    Thanks so much!
    I dream of the naked alien kickin some major micro disc dog butt someday!

    i will attempt again between rain!

    1. Safety trumps all.
      Regular leash walking out hook him to the longline and then dismiss.

      More Choose to Heel sessions with cookies to build the behavior. That was pretty nice work, and you and he will get better.

      Just be sure to be consequent when he’s not playing, which means you’re boring when he’s checked out. You get excited when he does the right stuff.

      You’ll get it.

    2. Oooh! just thought of this.

      Can you make a smaller field by strategically placing some fencing on your field? A smaller space would help you look cool and would be easier to manage it would also look and feel more like inside the house where he jams. Then you can expand the size of the field as he starts to generalize his jamming behavior.

  2. Lordy I cant believe I didnt tape our first session!

    Ok so That was the HARDEST and most rewarding thing EVER! lol

    So Zodiac turned on and caught TWO ten yard throws!!!!!!!!!!!

    It was SUPER HARD ( and boring ) for me,
    after 5-10sec of play, when he is totally engaged to tell
    him “go do dog stuff”…. you should have seen the look on his face!

    Even nipped me in the butt! Geesh!

    But after a few reps, he’d go sniff,
    do dog stuff, come back to me and we’d play for 5secs and I would send him off again.

    Total of a few mins.


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