Obedience Training with Pat Handfield

Today Kodi, Gabriella and I had our first full length session of obedience training with our new trainer Pat Handfield. We have been lucky enough to secure one to one sessions with Pat who is a well respected competition Obedience judge and competitor.

It was a brilliant session and we came away with so much advice on how to adapt training to suit Kodi. Prior to this session we were having trouble with motivation, Kodi had become bored and unfocused. Pat worked with us on finding the right ‘buttons’ to get Kodi working and he went from floor sniffing to being unable to peel his eyes away in just one session! Obviously we have to go away and work to build and keep this but what a marvelous start.

On our previous short intro session we had worked on obedience heel work, finishes and attention on us and our homework had been based on those three things. It was brilliant to see how quickly Kodi picked up what was required and he surprised even our trainer with the speed at which he learns!

We started by showing Pat everything that we had practiced and receiving further advise on where we were going wrong or could improve then moved on to Pat finding out what else Kodi knew already. She was pleased that he knew so many ‘trick’ moves as it really helped with the plan of action. As Kodi is a ‘doer’ we could use all those tricks together, instead of asking for a down we were to ask for a spin, touch, through and down as fast as we could then “YES” and treat. The difference in Kodi was massive, he loved to be challenged with what he could do and how fast could he do it and it was lovely to see him motivated once more.

As well as using “YES” as a marker for Kodi so that he could be sure when he had got something right we were also show clear ways to tell him when he had got something wrong and he quickly began to understand them and react appropriately.

We also worked on obedience style heel work and again went from nothing to Kodi holding the heel on a loose lead with no treat under his nose within that one session!

By the end of the hour and a half Kodi had gone from a dog sniffing the floor to a dog that sat next to me and looked and looked and looked just hoping that he would receive his “YES” marker and reward. I have to say I was seriously amazed at what can be accomplished within one training session and came away all a buzz!