The dog walks beautifully to heal and then looses focus.

The handler calls the dog back and when it returns to heal it gets rewarded.

Off they go again.

Dog looses focus; handler calls or reissues command and when dog returns to position it gets rewarded.

Running agility – Dog is going like a bulletJ Yay!!

Speedy misses a jump or gets distracted – handler recalls dog and gives it a reward for returning. They’re off again at the speed of lightJ Ooops! Distracted againL Recall reward and on they go.

Handler thought process: I am rewarding my dog for returning to work and ignoring the distractions, but improving my agility or heelwork is getting frustrating.

Dogs’ thought process: Hey, I get a reward when I wander off first and then returnJ Cool, I get how this game works. Coming back to you really rocks!!! Staying with you…..not sooo much.

I call this the “stuff up!” cookie. The little beasties are very good at figuring us humans out.

What we should be doing so that the beasties don’t out maneuver us in this way is:

Call your dog back and get him to do a bit of the heelwork or agility course correctly and THEN reward. By a “bit” I mean a few paces of heelwork or one or two obstacles.

If your dog does not come back your problem is not running a course or your heelwork, it is your recallJ. Work on your recall separately to improve it.