Your dog moves away from you towards an obstacle, around it and back to you. Choose an obstacle that is not so big that you can’t pass your hand around it, but not so small that your dog turns tightly. Practice in both directions.
This is a great one for building focus on walks too – it helps with recall!
Possible stations: plant pot, suitcase, bin, chair, hoover, pop up garden waste sack or laundry hamper.
How to train
- Start very close to the obstacle, with your dog on your right and food in your right hand. Lure your dog around the obstacle with food. Use your marker word as soon as their shoulder passes the other side of the object and reward them with the food from your hand. Repeat on the left side.
- Once your dog is confidently and smoothly following the lure, remove the food and use just your hand for your dog to follow. Mark and reward.
- Once your dog is confidently and smoothly following your hand without a lure, add a verbal cue just before you begin. Mark and reward. The verbal cue is ‘Scout’.
Once your dog understands the cue and is performing the action, start a step back away from the obstacle. Over time, gradually increase your distance from the obstacle.