LEVEL SIX (A)



Please read the INTRODUCTION before you start working. Be sure your dog has passed the Level One behaviours, Level Two behaviours, Level Three behaviours, Level Four behaviours, and Level Five behaviours before starting Level Six.

This colour indicates behaviours that are mandatory.

This colour indicates behaviours that must be done without food, clicker or other training aid, in a ring or similar.

This colour indicates behaviours that are optional. In Level Six, a dog must pass 8 of the 16 optional behaviours. Pick your optional behaviours with an eye to what sports you're aiming your dog for, or whatever looks like it would be a fun and interesting behaviour to teach your dog.


COME

The dog Downs from a Sit-Stay 10’ away on one cue, then comes to a Front with one cue only. This is an optional behaviour.

DISCUSSION
: This is the start of the discussion of the Drop On Recall or, if you're not planning on obedience competition, practise in getting the dog to assume positions at a distance, without coming to you first. If you're concerned about telling your dog to Down in the middle of a Sit-Stay, doing it from a Stand, or even starting with the dog at ease 10' away would be acceptable.


CRATE

Dog enters a crate on one cue only and remains quiet with the door closed for 15 minutes.

DISCUSSION
: At this point you should be able to take going and staying in the crate for granted. When you need the dog in the crate, you can put her in without fuss, and expect her to stay there without you thinking about her, and know she'll come out refreshed and ready to work or play.


DISTANCE

Dog performs three jumps in line in a 20’ diameter circle, in both directions. One starting cue only in each direction, and body language cues. This is an optional behaviour.

DISCUSSION
: And finally we put the Distance work into chain that you'll actually see on an agility course. This is the same behaviour she gave you in Level Five, but you'll be asking her to take another jump instead of coming back to you after the first one. Test it out with you staying in the centre of the circle, 10' from the dog at all times.


DOWN

The dog Downs from Stand on signal from 10’ away. This is an optional behaviour.

DISCUSSION
: Still more work on distance. One of the best things about clicker training is the ability to reward the dog at a distance, making training that much easier.


DOWNSTAY

Dog performs a full out of sight Down Stay for four minutes. Appropriate cues. This is an optional behaviour.

DISCUSSION
: This is the complete obedience Open DownStay – just a little bit shorter. Practise with other dogs in a lineup with yours if at all possible, and don't spend ALL your time entertaining the dog with distractions. Nothing-happening is a factor in the Stays as well as distractions!


FINISH

Dog performs 2 out of 4 perfect from Front, 1cue only.

DISCUSSION
: Now we're asking the dog to "get it right". You'll ask for four Finishes. Two must be spot on, spine straight, position excellent. If you're not interested in obedience competition, think of this as practise for you in getting something absolutely correct. And consider changing your mind – by Level Six, she's only a week or so away from the first obedience title! In the conformation variation, we're asking for backing up and coming forward, as well as sidestepping while still looking good and maintaining contact.


FRONT

Dog hits two out of four perfect fronts with one cue only, starting with the dog a minimum of five feet from handler. This is an optional behaviour.

DISCUSSION
: We're asking for a bit more precision now, and a bit of distance. Remember to make everything else easier when you make one thing more difficult.


GO TO MAT

Dog goes to his mat/bed/pause table from 20’ away and stays there for 15 minutes. Appropriate cues.

DISCUSSION
: This is the complete behaviour. We expect the dog to be able to find her mat pretty much anywhere in a training area, and we no longer require her to stay Down while she's on the mat. This means she can stand up, stretch, roll on her back, or otherwise relax on her own terms, as long as she stays on the mat.


HANDLING

Dog stays on a grooming table for 30 seconds, handler 10’ away. Appropriate cues.

DISCUSSION
: A high table now, up from the lower one of the previous Level. This behaviour ensures that your dog won't be injured jumping off a grooming or examining table when you were reaching for a brush or stethoscope.


HEEL

Dog Heels 80’ with one about turn, a fast, a slow, and two Halts. Appropriate cues. This is an optional behaviour which must be done with no food or clicker in the room or area.

DISCUSSION
: Before we get more than 20' of Heeling, we're going to start explaining that the reward may be hidden, so that doesn't come as a nasty surprise later. For conformation dogs, we're adding the full circle gait, and working on mat diving, and adding a freestack.


HOMEWORK

Handler lists, in writing, the four worst behaviours of his/her own dog(s) and presents a written plan for eliminating or improving them.


JUMP - BROAD

The dog performs a full broad jump exercise over a half-width jump. Appropriate cues.This is an optional behaviour.

DISCUSSION
: The width of the Broad Jump is twice the dog's height at the withers, so half-width is the dog's height. Many dogs have a longer running stride than this, so the challenge isn't in making the distance, but in doing the behaviour correctly. Be sure you have adequate footing so the dog doesn't slip.


There's more to Level SIX- click HERE for the rest.