Green Lead Skills
Here I will go through each green lead skill and explain what it is and what the test looks like.
Learning Theory, understand more about how your dog learns and some common mistakes and misconceptions about learning.
Test: You will have a short guided conversation with your instructor demonstrating that you understand the material.
Sometimes when teaching “no” we accidentally teach the dog to move away or avoid the distraction. This is one reason why it’s important to use the correct (neutral) tone of voice. Now, we’re going to combine the “no” and “stay” skills. We’re going to teach the dog that even if the treat comes right to you, don’t take it. Also don’t run away from it.
Test: Dog is put in a down and 5 treats are place on or near the dog, the dog must not break the down, or eat any of the treats.
Any dog should be happy with obeying basic signals from strangers
Test: Stranger asks for basic obedience (Sit, no, place)
Now that you are familiar with the techniques of luring and shaping it's time to put those skills to the test. Choose three tricks off of this list and begin training them. Discuss with your trainer whether luring or shaping or a combination will be the best way to approach each trick
Test: Pick 3 tricks from the list. Tricks must be performed with hand and/or voice signals only (no food lure or physical guidance)
Now it is time to proof the dogs understanding of stay even further. In this exercise we are going to put the dog in conflict between two opposing signals. One signal will be their “sit” signal which means remain sitting until I give you another signal. The other signal will be leash pressure, which to the dog ought to mean yield
Test: Dog is instructed to get into a position. The handler then puts pressure on the Lead in different directions. Dog must resist the Lead pressure.
Just like all of the skills at this level, this is about distractions. Pair this exercise with the Recall. Combining it with Recall, have a treat between you and the dog, call them, then send them (to a platform, target or crate). Work until the dog can run straight over the treat to their destination. Be creative about how you get this done. If you find yourself using too many “no’s” you are doing it wrong. This is much more difficult than the recall, partially because the dog feels more out of control when they are moving away from the handler. That’s also why this is so important.
Recall Test: Dog is handed to someone and taken 30 ft away from the handler. A treat is placed between you and your dog. The dog is then signaled to come, sit in front, handler reaches out and takes the dog's collar, unclips the Lead and clips the second Lead.
Go Test: Place a treat between you and a platform or target. Send your dog straight over that distraction to the target and ask for a position (sit, stand or down) when they get there.
Keep expanding the distractions like we have in other exercises. throw distractions, use natural distractions like squirrels and other dogs. Before you know it your dog will be connected to you in even the most distracting settings
A champagne flute of water is to be held in the hand of the handler that is handling the leash. The handler then leads the dog through the designated course. There will be distractors out in various parts of the course. if water drops below a certain level the test is considered failed.
When in public, dogs must maintain a good etiquette. This is never more true than when there are other dog's present. We should begin by thinking about how should dogs interact with other dogs according to people who don’t like dogs. People who don’t like dogs, or are afraid of them, don’t like it when dogs make too much noise, especially barking and growling. They don’t like dogs running fast. In general they don’t like dogs who seem out of the immediate control of their handlers.
Test: 2 dogs, handlers and dogs approach each other and stop, dogs sit. handlers shake hands, exchange a few words and move on.
A lot of dogs are very uncomfortable with loud noises. This test shows us that your dog is able to cope with these types of environments
Test: Noise (gunshot, pots and pans, screaming etc.)
After several weeks of classes, once you start to get an idea how the sport works, you should go watch a competition of your chosen sport. This isn’t to convince you to compete. This is so that you can see well trained dogs perform at a high level. So you can develop a sense of awe in what your dog does. Most of the dogs at these events are pet dogs just like yours, handled by professionals and hobbyists alike.
Test: Spectate or volunteer a working dog sport event.