If your new to canine conditioning, chances are, you may not have realized yet just how much training is involved! I was recently talking with a friend who had joined my Do More From Home circuit class. When I asked her how she liked the program she took a long pause and said, “Carolyn, I didn’t realize how much dog training is involved in conditioning!" My friend Jess went into the course with the focus on conditioning and she soon learnt that this was not possible without first addressing some of the foundation skills of learning proper foot positioning and how to hold/maintain position.
Now, Jess is a very skilled dog trainer so it didn't take long for her to layer back the exercises, focus on the 'training' side of things and re-visit exercise criteria with the goal of improved form and positioning. This was her ticket to success in finishing up the circuit course with her original goal of conditioning and overload.
This is actually a more common occurrence than you may think! In this week’s blog I take a look at some of the common mistakes students make in their conditioning sessions and how a return to foundation training is the answer to fixing these problems!
Common Conditioning Mistakes
You don't know, what you don't know!
There is SO MUCH information out there when it comes to conditioning training and you can’t be expected to know everything! Even experienced trainers are constantly learning and tweaking their sessions to suit their dog, the environment, and their training goals.
When I first started, I had a lot of questions...
We live in the information age and many of us will turn to our friend Google in search of our answers. When we do this there are two things that can happen...
Foundation training is not just for puppies or dogs new to canine conditioning. Dogs at all stages of life, training, and ability can benefit from a return to foundation skills. Foundation work is not something we need to “get through” so we can start working on the “real skills,” in fact, the work we do now is crucial to the success of our future training goals. By taking the time now to teach our dogs good training habits, proper form, and a solid understanding of various foundation exercises we are reducing their risk of injury (present and future) and save critical time that would be needed to re-train those bad habits and postures later in life.
There is no set time frame for which foundation behaviors have to be completed. In fact, I still work on foundation training with ALL my dogs on a weekly basis. Foundations can include learning a new exercise, proofing an existing one (improved foot positioning, balance) or adding a new challenge to an already learned behavior. Remember, we truly want to get the dog to understand the foundation behaviors versus going through the motions of just completing the exercise for the sake of checking it off our list.
The foundation training we do apply to more than just conditioning but actually compliments our other training as well. When we work with our dogs on foundation, we not only build a stronger relationship with them but we also bolster their confidence, improve upon their life skills, and build on their sport foundations.
The answer to our foundation woes...
You may be thinking, Carolyn, this sounds great but how do I avoid the pit falls of information paralysis and bad internet searches in my journey to brush up my foundation skills?
You’re in luck. I have been hard at work for years with hundreds of clients and their dogs perfecting a systematic framework for foundations! I’m finally ready to announce that I have discovered the right combination of exercises and behaviors to ensure my dog’s foundation was completed and not full of holes!!!!!
This. Is. HUGE! The definitive conditioning foundation course is here!
If you’re struggling with any of these common conditioning roadblocks this program is for you!!!!
What do you get in this course?