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Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Dealing with Distractions, Part 1

  • Rule Outs with Food
  • Rule Outs with People
  • Rule Outs with Toys
  • Two Distractions, Get One on Cue

Chapter 3: Dealing with Distractions, Part 2

  • Hand Touch with Distraction
  • Sit-stay with Distraction
  • Rewarding Position
  • Toy Play with Distraction
  • Recalls Past a Distraction
  • Recalls Away from a Distraction

Chapter 4: Playing without Toys

Chapter 5: Restrained Recalls

Chapter 6: Going to an Obstacle on Cue

Chapter 7: The “No Go” Zone

Chapter 8: Side Work

Chapter 9: Using Your Legs as Jump Bumps

Chapter 10: Obstacle Discrimination

Chapter 11: Retrieving

Chapter 12: Recalls

  • Conditioning the Dog’s Name to a Cookie
  • The Next Step: On Leash Work
  • Recall after Letting the Dog Approach a Distraction

Chapter 13: Acceleration & Deceleration

Chapter 14: Sit-stays

Chapter 15: Conclusion

Chapter 16: BONUS - Applying Foundation Fundamentals to Real Agility


This is an unpaid and unsolicted reveiw. I recently received the Foundation Fundamentals DVD by Mary Ellen Barry. I have watched it all the way through three times already. It's a fantastic video! (Yes, it's 6 hours long. Yes, I am obsessed.) The video is in the format of a private seminar. While there are several dog/handler teams, there is no public audience. So, you don't have the distraction of a large crowd moving in the background and it's easy to hear MEB. In the video, she demonstrates a skill with her own dogs and then shows the steps in how to teach that skill. Then, she brings a few teams out on the floor and works them through it. Then, the next set of teams come to the floor to work on the same skills. You get to see different breeds/ages of dogs, and handlers of varying skill, learn the exercise. You will see common mistakes and how to fix them and how to modify an exercise if needed. I think this video is great for students who want to learn these skills as well as for instructors who may want to teach them to students. Mary Ellen seems particularly good at picking out very subtle errors in a handler's mechanical skills. You get to see how even very small errors can have a big impact on the behavior you are trying to train. I think this video is an excellent value. Congratulations to Mary Ellen Barry and the staff at Clean Run for another job well done!  —Kathy

Omg! I love this DVD set... we are only on disk 2 and I have had a break-through with my 2-year-old Pug! Love, love! —Heather 

I've watched the DVD set twice so far, and read the included PDF articles many more. Everything makes complete sense. Mary Ellen Barry is a terrific instructor. It's given me a great start for agility with my new rescue, and a lot of things that we can work on over the cold winter months. Plus, many of the exercises are entirely relevant even if one is not going to do agility, i.e. dealing with distractions, sidework, retrieves, sit-stay, recalls. Excellent stuff and (from another video junkie) probably the best instructional DVD set that I've seen.  —K. Logan

Foundation Fundamentals 6-DVD Set
Clean Run Productions LLC

Subtitle: Important Skills to Train Before Introducing Agility Equipment
Author: Mary Ellen Barry
Format: DVD, 6 discs, NTSC format
Running Time: 6 hours, 34 minutes
Bonus Materials: 12 articles in PDF format
Release Date: 2010

The Foundation Fundamentals program is designed for all dogs at any skill level, whether a puppy or an adult. The purpose of this program is to build specific skills that your dog needs before you begin his obstacle training. It’s is very difficult to teach agility equipment to a dog if he’s running around with a toy, leaving you to go sniff, mugging you to get his treat, or going to visit others in hopes of finding something better than the reward you’re offering. You can’t train your dog to go over a jump or into a tunnel, much less chain together obstacles at speed, if he doesn’t know how to focus on the task at hand.

If the foundation skills covered in this two-day seminar are in place before obstacle training and sequencing begin, your actual agility training can be so much more efficient and enjoyable! A dog that loves his work and understands the boundaries within which to perform his work will be a joy for you to train, and the benefits will show when you begin your agility course work.

This 6-disc DVD set covers

  • Ignoring and working through distractions
  • Using restrained recalls and chase games to aid in building drive and achieving maximum ground speed and tight turns on course
  • Using non-agility equipment to teach your dog to understand handling cues and perform forward and lateral sends
  • Teaching your dog to follow your cues to discriminate between two pieces of non-agility equipment so he chooses the “obstacle” you cue him to take, not the one he chooses
  • Introducing your dog to balance and striding as he jumps
  • Teaching your dog not to go behind you (sometimes referred to as the “no-go zone”)
  • Teaching your dog to play with you without toys
  • Teaching turns on the flat and working at your side
  • Teaching recalls, even with distractions
  • Retrieving a toy

Mary Ellen demonstrates the goal of each exercise with her own dogs and then works through the training steps with the seminar group. The group consists of puppies of varying ages and an older dog that is new to the sport. Mary Ellen not only helps the students teach the foundation skills to their dogs, but she gives them many tips for improving their overall dog training skills. The DVD also includes a bonus chapter where Mary Ellen demonstrates how the foundation fundamental skills apply to real agility work with obstacles.

To rent the video-on-demand presentation of this DVD, click here.

About the Author
Mary Ellen's popularity as an agility seminar presenter and instructor has grown due to her ability to break things down for students and explain and clarify concepts. She has an excellent eye and is able to pinpoint simple training exercises for handlers to work on at home to improve coursework.Mary Ellen has been involved in dog training for 15 years. She's earned an ADCH with three dogs and represented the USA at the 2006 and 2008 IFCS World Championships.

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