There’s one exercise in RO where we have been absolutely winging it: Fronts. Both Front on recall and calling the dog to Front while walking. I never taught my dogs to sit in front of me. I mean, they do it in normal life enough of the time, I certainly wasn’t going to put even more value in position that doesn’t serve me for agility. Instead, my dogs have a lot of value for standing and sitting at my side, so when I confused Ruby on this video he naturally tried to assume position at my side. That’s where the value is!
But let’s say I would like Ruby and Java to sit nicely in front of me, reasonably straight and close. Let’s say I would like them to be pretty confident about how to get into this position from my side and from recall… How do I do it? I watched a few videos on YouTube, but it was either luring or using rods. Then I remembered that some people use platforms for this and searched for “teaching front using platform”. I found this:
Yay! Looks simple and my dogs already have a ton of value for platforms. I used a platform to teach tucked sit so I can use that to start with, then I need to make a lower version to help with fading it.
Ruby will have to wait a bit, though. His gait looked funny to me, like he wasn’t using his back end freely, and when I tried to massage it he was quite stiff, so I took him to the physiotherapist. Poor guy, his muscles were all locked up. And it’s not like we’ve been doing anything strenuous… Just walks and a bit of RO. He should be fine in a few days with help of a little heat, though. In the mean time, Java will test drive learning fronts with platforms for him 🙂