Putting it all together

You're ready to combine the Go-Out with Directed Jumping:

1. Put your box in front of the fence.

2. Leave Buddy midway between the two jumps.

3. Go to the box and point to the spot where you want him to go.

4. Return to Heel position, send him to the box, and tell him to sit and stay.

Buddy remains in the box for the Sit-Stay.

5. Go back to the spot from which you are ultimately going to send him, that is, 20 feet from the centerline between the jumps.

6. Give the command and signal to jump.

7. Praise as he lands and release.

Repeat the exercise for the other jump.

Now start with Buddy at Heel position, two feet back from the centerline between the jumps, and follow the same procedure. Repeat in two-foot increments until you stand at the appropriate spot for the exercise before sending your dog. This procedure is a precaution for the first few times you put the Go-Out together with the Directed Jumping. It should prevent Buddy from coming up with the idea (as he otherwise might) that he has to jump on the way out.

After every two Go-Outs, reinforce that exercise with five repetitions into the box. Reward the first, third, and fifth with a treat.

Give your dog a chance to work out on his own what it is you want. Before you jump in to help him, see what he does. He may surprise you. Be patient and keep your mouth shut.

What if Buddy makes a mistake and goes over the wrong jump? Try letting him work it out. Maintain your signal and wait. The response you want to see is Buddy going back into or near the box without any help or command from you. When he does, lower your arm, tell him to sit, and repeat the signal.

Suppose that Buddy does nothing and just sits in front of you not knowing what to do. Give him a chance until you're absolutely certain that he has stopped trying. Then take him back to where he started, leave him, return, and send him again.

Seeing a dog have the Aha! response — Buddy shows you that the penny has dropped and he's figured out what you want — is perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of dog training. To get there, you must never discourage your dog from trying, even if the response is incorrect. Permit and encourage your dog to solve these training problems, and you'll have a motivated student.

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