Working with Multiple Dogs

Working more than one dog at a time is an ongoing process. My goal is to have all my dogs watching while I work one at a time and act appropiately. This translates for me, ease of practice time and a better dog on the sides of agility trials. 

Define your criteria before you begin working two dogs. Prep games that each dog should know alone are:

  1. Bed Games/Crate Games

  2. IYC

  3. Name Recall

My criteria:

  • Keep all 4 feet on your bed not matter what

  • Wait your turn until called

  • You may move around and/or play with a toy

  • You may not bark, whine, or any other vocalization while others are working.

Begin with baby steps:

  • Stand between working dog and watching dog

  • Ask for low arousal games first

  • Feed the 'bed' not the dog to build value for staying

  • Do not reward 'off then on' chain

  • Repeat mistakes and reward the 'right' choice

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by Borderhauss Kennels and Laura Maulbetsch