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Training to Trial | A Successful Transition
Week Five | Members Only


Week Five | Transitions, Transitions, Transitions

Do you get the feeling that transitions are important?

What do I mean by transitions?  Entering the ring, moving to the first exercise, and moving between exercises.  Transitions set the tone for the actual exercises.
Transitions Are an Exercise.  Everyone trains the exercises.  What the vast majority of people do not train are transitions.   I treat transitions as actual “exercises” and train them accordingly.   When you watch teams in the ring, this is often where they struggle and lose connection.  In order for your dog to successfully complete an exercise, he must arrive at the set up point attentive, confident and alert.

HOMEWORK: Submit a video of a ring entrance and a transition between exercises to the website Forum.

Outside the Ring

Your dog is warmed up and ready…and so are you.  You are outside the ring waiting for your turn.   This is often where we lose our dog’s attention.  Make sure you have a plan!


Ring Entrance

I believe the ring entrance is difficult and stressful for dogs.  You are often passing a number of people and dogs crowded around the gate, going through a narrow gate, and into the ring which is a novel environment for the dog.  Often a judge and sometimes steward are close by creating pressure on the dog.  You can counter condition the stress by teaching fun, motivating ring entrances.


Between Exercises

Moving between exercises is typically where people lose connection with their dog and struggle to regain it.  Transitions are a great time to praise your dog and work on your connection to ensure your dog is happy and focused when you set up for the next exercise.


The 4 Second Rule

Brenda Aloff taught me this during a discussion we had on…. you guessed it, transitions.  I consistently use it when I train and trial.

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