Struggling to keep and maintain your dog's attention during training or competition? Sure that your dog knows all of the work, if only he would focus and stay engaged?
In the highly anticipated fourth (and final?) book in the "Dog Sports Skills" series, authors Denise Fenzi and Deb Jones turn their attention to the topics of Focus and Engagement. This book is a fantastic addition which is sure to broaden your understanding of a crucial element of training performance dogs.
In the first several chapters, Fenzi and Jones take a hard look at the factors that create Focus challenges in our performance dogs, and then systematically offer solutions for addressing them.
The next several chapters provide detailed, step by step instructions for teaching your dog to focus, covering a focus "foundation", adding behaviors, duration and movement, and finally distractions and other challenges are addressed. The topic of focus is then wrapped up with a series of Focus games which are designed to be light, entertaining for all parties, all while assisting in the more serious business of getting your dog focused!
The second part of the book focuses on understanding and developing trained Engagement; the process of teaching one's dog to push for a chance to work, and to value that training time above all else!
Engagement training is broken down into specific steps, and is laid out in a logical and methodical fashion over several chapters. Handling disengagement is addressed, as is the process of moving away from classic food and toy reinforcers and into the competition arena, where strong Engagement is vital to success!
Between focus and Engagement training, struggling competitors are likely to find the missing piece between training at home with cookies and trialing in the challenging competition setting.