Video: Teeter – Bad Dog Agility Academy

Video: Teeter

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  • jillcohn@hotmail.com says:

    Very interesting. Thanks for this incite. Freck just turned 18 months. I noticed that he developed fears of some things that he hasn’t been afraid of in the past but at the same time is not afraid of things that did create fear in the past. My thought is that backing up and reintroducing the fear with lots of encouragement will bring back the balance.

    • Sarah Baker says:

      Yes, always be willing to back up in training. And good job switching to classical conditioning to help with fears. See/hear the scary thing then feed or play! After he is comfortable, then go back to operant conditioning where he has to do a behavior to earn a reward.

  • gacwofva@aol.com says:

    Please explain the basic logic behind teaching teeter initially without motion, and especially teaching to run and stop while the board is propped so high in the air. When I trained my first weim, the teeter was always in some kind of motion and included the bang although we muffled it. I need some dots connected here so I understand the principles.

    • Sarah Baker says:

      It is about breaking the behaviors up into individual pieces. Many dogs are fearful of just one piece (elevation, sound, motion). We work the motion with wobble boards and balance disks, then motion and sound with the bang game (teaching the sound separately if needed), we teach the elevation while keeping all paws on the plank (working with a lower teeter if needed), then start to add them together when the pup is ready and old enough. If there is any fear, most dogs will start to slow down in anticipation of the tip. If you have a large dog, that does not matter as much. Smaller dogs need to learn to RUN to the END of the board because if they do that then the tip point will stay consistent and not change. If they hold up, teeters will tip at different places and the inconsistency can make the teeter more scary for some. So lots of reps of running to end of the board with no tip can help that. Most agility behaviors are broken into many small steps that by themselves do not look like the end behavior. For some dogs, like your first weim, having motion from the beginning might not matter. For many it would. I hope that helps!

      • gacwofva@aol.com says:

        Yes, this helps. And I have observed small dogs struggling with the teeter tip point. The teeter WAS scary for my girl, but we found muffling the bang made a big difference. I will not be training Teeter until Forrest is much older (only 23 weeks as of today), so he will be a full sized male Weim when we start that obstacle. Also, I never used a wobble board because we aren’t to have the Weims on them til growth plates are no longer an issue.

  • Sharon says:

    My Papillon is stopping back too far on the teeter in practice. When I get him to the end, he’s been stopping and won’t come off no matter what cue I use to try to call him to go on to the next jump or whatever. Luckily he “hits” and goes at the trials. How can I get him to practice driving to the end of the teeter and come off when it hits the ground?

    • Sarah Baker says:

      On the flat, I teach a front foot target to a small piece of yoga mat then attach the target to planks with painters tape or bungee’s. Make sure to reward releasing off the target to help with that aspect.

  • Jeri Prekop says:

    Hi Sarah- taught my pup the teeter as you did in your video and followed your responses to my questions. I slowly raised height of propped- up teeter – took prop away, lowered it myself,etc. at 11 months old , I started letting him drop it himself. He was great – running to end of board – going into a down. Then 2 days ago, he rode it to the ground but did not stay on. After that – he willingly went onto it but is hesitating a few inches further from the end than Before. So I propped it up again and each time was better- closer to what I wanted. Thoughts? Lower the teeter and have him go to the end? Hold up end full height and work on dropping it myself?

    • Sarah Baker says:

      Somehow yes, lower criteria to help him out so he can be right and successful. Maybe he is trying really hard to be right. Does he know a foot target you can put at the end of the teeter to help him find the end? If it is getting better you are on the right track! I bring Skeptic’s target back out if he forgets how to find the very end of the board.

      • Jeri Prekop says:

        He does but when i put it on the end of the board – it did not seem to make a difference

        • Sarah Baker says:

          Then something could missing with the target or teeter training. Do you have video? Is your dog really excited to do the teeter? How proofed is the end of the board behavior off of the teeter?

          • Jeri Prekop says:

            I do have video – I can post it here?

          • Jeri Prekop says:

            He is pretty excited to do it!

          • Jeri Prekop says:

            Pls clarify what you mean by “end off board behavior off the teeter” He will hop onto the low end and stay as I move away and go back to reward. Did this too with teeter propped up – he would run up to the end

          • Sarah Baker says:

            I meant end of the board behavior, sorry. But I would just go back a few steps and rebuild the behavior.

  • Jeri Prekop says:

    Sarah/ did you just shape the down on the end of the board when it was low? Or did you use foot target??

  • Jeri Prekop says:

    Hi Sarah – liking your teeter method. I’ve previously trained It using that 2- table method. After you teach the bottom behavior on the end- do you work with a lowered teeter- teaching them to drive to the end of the raised board ? It looked like your pup ran to the end of a full height teeter.

    • Sarah Baker says:

      Thanks! I also went back and taught a front foot stationary target that I put on the end of the teeter to help him drive to the end when I was not there. I started it on the flat then worked just the end of the board with it.

      I will definitely use a lower teeter if the dog is fearful but usually we have done enough plank work prep that the dogs can run up full height. Skeptic was confident about planks and heights so he could run to the end of a full height teeter right away.

  • Susan Hayes says:

    My Golden Retriever is 19 months old. She is the bravest Golden I’ve ever had. She was doing the teeter just fine. But now, she is afraid. Nothing happened. She didn’t fall off or anything. Someone told me that Goldens go through a fearful stage at 18 months and to not push it and avoid the teeter. What is your advice?

    • Sarah Baker says:

      For all dogs, there are often 3 fear periods that can happen around 8 weeks, 8 months and 18 months. I would definitely take a week or so off. If you have any video, go back and analyze her body language. Was she having fun on the teeter? Was she tentative? Were her ears forward or back? Maybe she was afraid and the fear has just reached the point where she does not want to do the teeter at all… Either way, when you restart teeter training, I would go waaayyyy back in training, like to the bang game with just a little bit of motion. I would watch for her to be having fun and to be offering to bang the board. I would only move forward (adding more bang and more end of board criteria) if she is confident and having fun.

  • Sarah Anger says:

    Would you recommend waiting until 9 months of age to start anything beyond the bang game and would you still recommend teaching a down at the end of the teeter in a larger dog?

    • Sarah Baker says:

      I want to wait until I feel they are safe from falling off. That means having enough body awareness, core strength and understanding of their job (to drive to the end of the board and stay focused forward).
      I still think that a down is a good way to get a nice weight shift but it is not necessary. I am retraining Hops to do a 4 on teeter instead of a 2 on 2 off.


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