Backing Up – Bad Dog Agility Academy

Backing Up

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  • Claire says:

    I have been working with CharLee on back up for a few months.
    If I get too much distance between me and the target he can tend to go off to one side or the other. He’s a smart little guy and sometimes he just turns around and walks to the mat the easy way. I don’t reward for those. Is that what I should be doing?
    Should I keep working to increase the distance, asking for him to back up straight?

    • Jennifer Crank says:

      His backing up looks great. I don’t see anything to worry about. Even the few he went crooked and not onto the mat didn’t bother me. You could have him do it parallel to the wall instead of into the wall if you want to work on him being straighter but I’m not super picky about that. This isn’t really an agility skill. It is just for shaping and body awareness so we can be more lax about it compared to some things, like perch work.

      You can work on increasing the distance he backs up over time if you’d like. I will admit that none of my dogs have a really huge distance on backing up. I’d be more inclined to start adding behaviors at the end. Can he back up and then sit or down?

      The biggest thing that drew my attention on this was the markers, or lack there of. I didn’t hear anything consistent when he made it to the mat and I didn’t hear anything when you set the cookie back in from of you to reset him. We need to get the cleaned up ASAP.

      • Claire says:

        Thank you.
        For markers, I should use ‘find’ for the reward when I toss the cookie on the floor when he hits the mat and ‘find’ again as the reset cookie back toward me on the floor?

        I’ll be mindful of that. Thanks

        • Jennifer Crank says:

          Yes, definitely “find” when he hits the mat. You can either use “find” or “take” to reset. Just depends on where you want to give the treat from. Eventually you can just use a single “find” in front of you to reset.

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