Author: Deborah Jones, Ph.D. & Judy Keller
Format: DVD, NTSC format
Running Time: 55 minutes
Release Date: 2009
In this DVD, Deborah Jones, Ph.D., and Judy Keller demonstrate the application of their FOCUS program while introducing a puppy or a "green" dog to agility obstacles. The ultimate goal of focused obstacle training is to help your dog develop a clear understanding of how to negotiate each obstacle fluently and consistently on a single cue. We want the dog to display confident and independent obstacle skills. We accomplish this by training for understanding and enjoyment at each stage before adding further challenges.
The program is divided into three sections. First you will work on your basic training skills such as getting behaviors to happen and shaping behaviors. Next you will work on basic behaviors and exercises that lay the groundwork for future obstacle performance. These foundation skills are designed to increase your dog's confidence, curiosity, boldness, and body awareness. Finally, you will work through the initial stages of training the tunnel, chute, tire, contact obstacles, and weave poles.
This DVD will not take you through to the finished product; rather, it will prepare you and your dog for more advanced obstacle training. If you follow the ideas and suggestions presented here, your dog will have a solid foundation for the challenges that lie ahead in agility training and trialing. Your dog will learn to love the agility obstacles, not just tolerate them. He will learn to have fun and stay focused while he works with you because he wants to, not because he has to.
About the Authors
Deborah Jones, Ph.D. and Judy Keller developed the FOCUS program in 2003. This program is designed to help trainers form a good working relationship with their performance dogs. Deb has an academic background in learning theory and social behavior. She is also an innovator in the use of the clicker in dog training. Judy has been on the AKC Agility World Team three times, winning team gold in 1998. Both Deb and Judy share a strong commitment to using training methods that are positive and gentle, yet are also efficient and effective.
About the In FOCUS Program
The FOCUS program is designed to help you build a strong and solid working relationship with your dog. FOCUS is absolutely necessary for dogs competing in performance events such as obedience and agility. However, FOCUS can enhance the relationship between any dog and owner, whether or not you compete. Trying to train a dog that does not have focus is an uphill battle. An unfocused dog finds things in the environment (such as agility obstacles or smells on the ground) much more interesting than working with his trainer. This is frustrating and aggravating for the trainer, and a waste of valuable training time. Deborah Jones and Judy Keller developed the FOCUS (Fun, Obedience, and Consistency Lead to Unbelievable Success) program to help you create a happy working partner that is ready and eager to train. Dogs with FOCUS do not get off-track and distracted. They have learned, through their FOCUS foundation work, that the trainer is the source of fun and interesting activities. They know that it pays off to pay attention to the trainer and to figure out what the trainer is trying to teach. FOCUSed dogs are “in the game” and ready to play.
Their training system is based on the belief that dogs are intelligent and sensitive creatures. Their methods are based on respect for dogs, an understanding of their nature, and scientific learning theories. Deborah and Judy feel that training should be both fun and effective.