Ward Falkner Competitive Obedience Seminar

May 12-13, 2012

Thank You to everybody who participated in the Seminar.  We hope you had a wonderful time and learned all kinds of great tips and techniques. 

A Special Thank you also to Laurel Skuba of Pawsh Dog for the use of your excellent facilities and to Terry Lambert and Barb Bell, pictured below with Ward, for organizing this successful event.

Thank you Ward for an excellent seminar!

More Photos Coming Soon!

About Ward Falkner and Zoom 

Ward Falkner is one of North America’s leading obedience trainers. Together with his dog Zoom, he has won over 250 High in Trials, including 54 perfect scores of 200 - a record in the history of Canadian Obedience training.  He has placed in the top ten obedience dogs in Canada an impressive 8 times in the past 10 years, and recently won High In Trial at the Eukanuba Invitational Obedience Trial in Florida.

Some of his other achievements include

  • A record for the number of perfect 200’s achieved in a single year at 15
  • Placed in Canada’s Top Ten obedience dogs for past 6 years – 2008 as #1, presently ranked #3
  • At two years old was the youngest dog in Canada to achieve the GMOTCh title
  • Only obedience team in history to have been ranked #1 in Canada and also win the US National Obedience Invitational
  • Only non-American team to win the NOI
  • High in Trial Golden Retriever Club of Canada National Specialty - 2008, 2009, 2011 – twice with perfect 200 scores
  • Invitee and participant in the AKC/Eukanuba National Invitational – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Winner AKC/Eukanuba National Invitational 2011 – adding the letters NOC (National Obedience Champion) in front of Zoom's OTCh.

Quote from Petra Ford, fellow competitor, twice NOI Champion, 1st Place Tie in the Crufts World Obedience Championship...

“This is an absolutely amazing team. Insanely accurate, while maintaining SPEED and STYLE!!! Everyone should be striving to attain all three . . . often, the style and speed get lost while pushing for more and more accuracy. Congrats, Ward and Zoom, well deserved." 

Photo by Colby Spencer

Seminar Outline

How Dogs Learn
  • Learning Through Associations
  • Learning Through Consequences
  • Positive Reinforcement
  • Negative Reinforcement
  • Positive Punishment
  • Primary and Secondary Reinforcement
  • Cues and Markers
  • Get It, Mark It, Reward It
  • Work Close and Work with the Pieces
  • Change Only One Variable at a Time
  • Use of the Flexi on AII Exercises
The Beginning - The Puppy
  • The "Off" Command
  • The Target Stick and "Touch" Command
  • Spin to the Left and Turn to the Right
  • Side-passing
  • Backing Up
  • Recalls and the Opposition Reflex
  • "Goes" and the Opposition Reflex
  • "Fronts" on the Knees with a Treat from the Mouth
  • Learning to "Slot"
  • The Scent Article Game

The Basics
  • Sit
  • Down
  • Come
  • Stand
  • Stay

  • Driving Release - From a Sit
  • Driving Release - Two Step, Five Step, Ten Step – Release
  • Body Position - Head, Shoulders, Hips, Feet Underneath, Knees Together
  • Importance of Pace and Step Sizes
  • Use of Metronome and Straight-Line Heeling for Rhythm
  • Footwork and Pace Changes
  • Halt - 7-2-3
  • Left Turns and Right Turns - Weight Shifts
  • Right and Left About Turns - Weight Shifts
  • Spirals
  • Figure 8 - Weight Distribution, Head, Shoulders, Feet
  • Where to Look
  • Dog's Head Position
  • Handler Head Position on Turns and Halts

Fronts and Finishes
  • Tuck Sit
  • Fixing a "Hip Throw" Sit and Building Muscle Strength
  • Straight Fronts
  • Slots and Guides
  • Angle Fronts and, Side-passing
  • Finishes - About and Swing - Why both are important
  • Finish Games

Attention Training
  • Informal - Eye Contact Game
  • Formal - Terry Arnold Eight-Week Program

Open Exercises
  • Retrieves/Dumbbell
  • Teaching the "Hold" with Fingers
  • Nose Touch with "Touch" Command
  • Getting Dog to "Take" and Marking the "Take"
  • Teaching the "Hold" - Sitting, Moving, with Distractions
  • Forced Retrieve - Ear Squeeze
  • Use of Driving Release - High to Low Position - Use of Hand
  • Use of Flexi
  • Toys and People Distractions - Take It vs Get It

Retrieves - Flat and High Jump

Drop on Recall
  • Down/Stand - Directly in Front of Handler
  • Increasing the Distance Variable
  • Recall Distance and Relationship to Drop Speed in Training
  • Drop, Sit, Stand Game

Broad Jump
  • Calls Over with Flexi
  • Progressing Into the Turn
  • Preventing Cutting - Set-up, Use of Rods
  • Importance of Height and Getting It

Utility Exercises
  • Scent Game and Scent Articles
  • Working Close to the Pile
  • Avoiding Eye Contact with the Dog
  • Run-aways
  • Turn & Sit or Turn

Directed jumping - the Parts
  • Starting with the Flexi
  • Food Placement on the Center Post - the Puppy "Go"
  • Target Stick and a fob to Do
  • Go Out (i.e., Touch)
  • Stand, Turn and Sit
  • Signals Rather than Verbal/Signal Combination
  • Multiple Turns and Sits - on a Single Send
  • Go-outs with Gloves in Corners

  • Relationship to Leash Handling
  • Treating After Each Movement
  • Turning Around After Each Movement
  • The Distance Factor

Directed Retrieve
  • Turns
  • Body Position - Moving Hands Down Thighs
  • Throwing the Gloves
  • Glove Placement - Circle
  • Glove Placement - Three Gloves
  • Proofing with Go-outs

Moving Stand
  • The Stand
  • The Examination and Verbal/Touch Command
  • Call to Finish - Use of Plastic Rod

The Beauty of a Sheltie is the Essence of their Spirit. 

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