Left and Right Side Targets – Bad Dog Agility Academy

Left and Right Side Targets

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  • Ally Hamilton says:

    We struggle with side paw targets. I figured out about halfway through that holding the treat in the outside hand works better. But we could still use tips to improve.

  • Nicole LeDrew May says:

    This was only our second attempt at this – I tried it this morning with an angled plank but we have been doing a lot of 2 on 2 off on the plank so he was getting confused. I tried the couch cushions and that seemed to work ok. I know we’re a ways away from where we need to be with the weight bearing but just wondering your thoughts on this so far. Thank you 😊 https://youtu.be/ncL_zrB9GE8

      • Nicole LeDrew May says:

        Thanks so much! I will re-do the filming from the side. Also, I tried something different yesterday, which ‘I didn’t get on film, but I will film it later and post it here. I have a pool noodle made of a denser foam and it’s flat on one side. I tucked it into the front of the couch on the floor, and this combined with the front approach, he got the side targets every time (the couch prevented him from stepping on it).. his weight was definitely more on the feet that were on the floor. It might work tucked up against a wall as well. I’ll try to get a video up later today and see what you think of it. 🙂 I could be totally off base , the feedback on this stuff is so important, thanks!

        • Coach Leslie says:

          That sounds awesome! Can’t wait to see it.

          • Nicole LeDrew May says:

            I tried tonight with the flat-sided pool noodle by the wall. It at least seems to help him understand the two side feet better, and he appeared to be carrying most of the weight on his feet that were on the floor (My interpretation of it, anyhow!). I have ordered a Cato plank so that might be something that will help when it shows up. But this seems to be an ok start? He was really unusually wound up and overly excited tonight – he was like that all evening, even before the fitness practice so it wasn’t that – he was almost taking my fingers off eating the treats – he’s not usually like that lol.

          • Coach Leslie says:

            This is lovely!
            SideTargets522: https://link.getonform.com/view?id=3EGGnwAMAHf9wtRm7KFj

  • Kathy McClung says:

    Hi Coach Leslie!

    We are returning to Module 1 and this is our first try at the left & right side targets. She seemed to get the paw position with luring but I’m not sure we achieved non-weight bearing on the paws on the platform. If she is putting her weight on those paws, how do I get her to shift her weight? Also, do you add a verbal to this so you can ask for the behavior or is luring ok whenever we work on this?

    Thanks for the feedback!


  • Natasha says:

    Worked on side targets today. For the littles I put my legs out to help them figure which side to target & this seemed to help. The big kids appeared to have more trouble. I realized I probably overworked both of them for this session & will do better about setting a time so I don’t overdo it. Sent in the order of Suzie-Q, Spice, Jazz, & Denver

  • Jenn says:

    Well, life being life, I am finally getting back to working with the dogs. Starting over from where I had left off. Ipsilateral targeting with Cato Boards elevated on FitBones.


  • Judy says:

    Left and Right side targets. He offered a few spiders here – he was a bit excited about the food and I was a bit slow in rewarding the side paws! https://youtu.be/CFSR5FDlhhc

    • Coach Leslie says:

      This is looking really good!
      JaimeSideTargets10221: https://link.getonform.com/view?id=CgbfG2KrbvbGVTciJ10x

      • Judy says:

        Thanks again, Leslie. I didn’t realise Jamie should be targeting lower. If I bring him out a little from the platform he will target lower – as you said, he tends to think it’s a rear paw (“spider”) behaviour when he is very close, especially if the rewards are a little slow in coming. I am pretty pleased with how he is recovering from surgery.
        How many times a week should we do these exercises? Jamie would be happy to do them daily and I am supposed to do front paws up and sit stand exercises daily, but I do not want to overdo it, which I tend to do.

        • Coach Leslie says:

          I would split the exercises in half and alternate them by day. So, if you have 6 exercises total, do 3 every other day, 3 on the opposite every other day. If you only have these 4 exercises, you could do them daily, but take 1-2 days off a week.

  • Dawn Warnock says:

    Hi Leslie, Here are Rio’s side targets…now I’ve watched it back I fear we may be a little higher than required 🤦‍♀️ Look forward to hearing your comments. Thank you 🐾

  • Sue says:

    Hi Leslie
    Here is hopefully a good filming angle. We haven’t done this exercise for a long time. Lyric does seem to naturally put very slightly less weight on her left hind, so would this be a good one to help with this? She has been thoroughly checked out, including X-rays and we get regular checks too. No reason for this has been found.


  • Sandy & Karma says:

    Hi Leslie hope you had a good 4th! As Karma and I are working through this side targeting I am probably making it harder than it has to be but have a couple questions:

    Question 1- Is the final goal for her (once the behavior is solid) to step sideways onto the target (in other words a lateral movement)?

    Question 2 – for side targeting (as well as all the other targeting behaviors), will we want to train the behavior to be able to put it on a verbal cue?

    Trying to understand how these behaviors are translating into subsequent exercises I think might give me insight how to best train them…..see, I told you I was making it harder than it had to be!

    • Coach Leslie says:

      Great questions!
      No the final goal is not to step sideways onto the target. I see movement as a totally different behavior than targeting and it has different goals conditioning wise as well. The final goal is to be able to work on duration of the behavior. It is weight loading to each side (left side when right is targeted and right side when left is targeted). Then we can add balance challenges into the behavior to make it more difficult. Yes, at some point we will discuss side stepping and may use a target to back chain it, but I think of the movement after the position duration.
      You don’t have to train anything to a verbal cue for me. Luckily, there is no fitness competition or titling and so we can always use props and luring to get the behavior we want. You are definitely welcome to train it to a verbal cue and I can help you along the way with that, but know that I don’t take my dogs to a verbal cue on many exercises. I use the set up as cue modifiers to my basic verbal or motion cues.

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