Here’s the question: I have a large breed hunting dog. We’ve done most of our training indoors at our training facility. When I take my hunting dog outside to do agility, at a trial, he just takes off on me. Can this dog ever do agility outside with me?
Answer: yes. 🙂 just takes time and training for the dog to learn what you want him/her to do outside. That outside doesn’t just mean hunting for me time. 🙂
What does this mean then?
- Do as much training and practicing of agility outside that you can
- Teach your dog that outside agility is just the same as indoor agility, it’s just the location that has moved. 🙂 Some dogs just don’t generalize well so this can be hard for them to learn.
- also practice some basic obedience with your dog…come, sit, stay etc
- That means take a jump, reward! Just one or two obstacles at the time until dog learns that outside is for agility too.
- Take it nice and slow
- sometimes it’s more of a matter of the dog needing to mature abit
- Use a lot of treats, toys or whatever to keep it fun and take small steps. There is a whole different world of scents, sounds, breezes and visual distractions in an outdoor setting.
- Realize that any new dog needs to see lots of new venues, and as they gain experience and mature in the game, they will do better at it.
- Find ways to teach focus and control. Go to busy trials and just work on attention (focus) and control areas. There’s a barking dog 20 feet away, can you sit? There’s a bunch of birds over there flapping and making noise, can you heel around them? And such like…..
- When going to new venues, give him a chance to thoroughly check it out before asking him to do anything. Do the sniff walk-about, and once you have that done, do some basic obedience, so some more sniffing, then ask for a jump or do a recall etc. Give him time to adapt to and check out this new place.