This is my busy travel time for this time of year so perhaps you have noticed a delay in offering a new online class? Just a few more weeks and we will begin a new session.
As I travel and teach there are always topics that have been covered and yet they come up again, this time it is reinforcers. As you consider what to pack as a reward, (reinforcer ) for your dog be sure to consider that what may be a strong reward in one environment may have little value at all in another environment. For you to be certain your reinforcer will have enough value for your dog one must experiment and proof the process in different environments. It is of the utmost importance to KNOW what you are offering meets the needs of the dog in any given circumstance. I see all the time dogs that disengage from their handlers when the reward lacks enough strength to compel the dog to truly "want it" under high stress work.
Much of the jump grid work requires a high degree of thought from the dog to problem solve which many dogs are not conditioned to produce and is therefore very stressful for them. Under these circumstances the handler really needs to be "all that" and then some for their dog. I truly am not trying to preach here but rather call attention to the dogs needs during these times so that the handler can count on their dog to offer the behaviors they want. All training
needs to be fun and highly rewarded for our dogs, it also reinforces us when the dog works happily and is always willing to try for us so it is a win, win situation.