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I was wondering if anyone can give me any tips on how to get my dog to move at proper speed in the ring? He just barely trots and it is very frustrating. I know he can move beautifully as he flies around the paddock. He has always been like this and I wonder if it is because my daughter showed him initially and she was quite small so he slowed down for her. I have tried him on different leads, tried to make it fun, tried to be stern and baiting him with food that he loves outside the ring. But he is still the same. Any ideas would be much appreciated.
Carmel

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did you try with some toys, that he likes? maybe some squeaky toy...? maybe a favourite ball?
I dont show a lot, but do obedience.
And in the champion-class, there is the "at heel work" that needs to be done both in slow motion, normal speed and running fast.

The running one is a difficult one and as my dogs are not motivated by toys etc, I use meatballs in front of their nose when teaching this. They will only get the reward once they have run at the speed I want them to and have come to a halt.
I will also use a variation of the same method (meatball in front of nose) and once they have reached the correct speed, throw the meatball in a straight line in front of me to add just a bit more speed...

I will do the running and meatball-reward at any given time. Like when I am taking the dogs for a walk. I want them to get this picture in their head that when I start running, and they catch on directly, there will be a great reward.
And it has worked for all my dogs.
Ursula - I like the idea of throwing the meatball in a straight line, I had not thought of that one. Unfortunately I can't can get hold of those fantastic swedish meat balls so will never make up an obedience champion...

Carmel - for moving well out and with drive I also use a trick from obedience training. I build up the 'send away' by placing a meat ball (or similar!) on a tiny dish raised 40cm from the ground (we have special trainig defices for this) and let the dog watch. Then give a clear hand signal and let him run forward with you (on the show lead) and eat the meat ball. The important part is the hand signal. With practise the hand signal will be all he needs to get hime speading off, head held high, powering with drive... You can alternate by placing the treat in various corners of the triangle, the dog never quite know when he will get his treat.
No need to blame the lack of swedish meatballs!!!!!!!

Just for a change I will sometimes use thick slices of procecced meat (anything that sticks together = I think spam would work well). Or big lumps of cheese (I do belive cheese is awailable in Switzerland :-) Both of these can be thrown in a straight line...with a bit of practice, that is.

I want the reward to be like a jackpot!
No small bits along the way but like a MASSIVE WOW!!!!!!!! Its hard work doing a whole heel-work-programme with all the twists and turns at full speed so the reward for this is supposed to make them feel its all been worthwile.

As for not being food-motivated, I never feed dogs before training or compertitions.

And no, a dog is NEVER to old to learn new tricks, Carmel. You just have to work a little bit harder!
Thanks for the replies. Agnieszka, I have taken a tennis ball with me in the ring which he normally loves but shows no interest in the ring. Is he being stubborn? knowing that I can't do anything in the ring and dragging him is not a good look. I think he would probably respond to some type of obedience or agility work, maybe he is bored. But he is 4 1/2. Is that too late to start him with that type of work? I will try your meatball training Ursula and see how that goes. However he is not very food orientated. I would really like to get him going properly as I think this is really letting him down in the ring.
Thanks again.
Carmel

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