Go On! Racetrack and Motive


The purpose of this exercise is to teach the Go On directional to your dog. I’ll also be using a system of baited targets to encourage a couple of shy and under-motivated dogs to perform with more gusto.

The idea is for the handler to gradually increase the distance from which he sends the dog to perform the obstacles on the Racetrack. The starting position doesn’t really matter too much; the handler can assume any position either inside or outside of the Racetrack. After starting the dog, the handler should keep that side.

I’ve set a baited target at the “X” on course. To get the dog used to the idea I might spend awhile placing the food on the target and just letting him “Go on!” and “Get it!” with the treat only four feet in front of his face.

It might be a bit more problematic running the dog the opposite direction when the food is right behind him. A clever dog would whirl around and snatch the food treat rather than going on with the sequence. If it helps any, you could start at jump #2 (picture dragging your dog away from the food treat by the collar!)

Begin by running the sequence with your dog. Back up only gradually on successive repetitions allowing your dog to go on in front of you. If he turns back to you, immediately step in and show him where to go.

Use the directional Go On as you work. The idea is to develop a meaning for the verbal (continue working in a straight line). If you don’t use the verbal, you aren’t training anything.

Fading the Target

After working with the target for awhile I’ll be very interested in seeing if my dog is kicking into a new gear in this sequencing work. I should like to stop using the baited targets and switch to a reward system. As my dog finishes the last obstacle I will roll a bit of string cheese out in front of her being very conscious of the reward line (tossing so that my dog continues to work in a straight line). Note that I’m working on a black rubber floor with string cheese. If you’re working outside on grass you might want to resort to the use of a toy rather than tossing food.

To break things up, I might give random reward-line treats in the conduct of the sequence. I’ll especially be keen on rewarding fast and inspired work.

Racetrack – Get Out


The purpose of this exercise is to teach the Go On directional to the dog; and to reinforce a lead hand change as a non-verbal signal to the dog to change direction.

You’ll need to get position to push your dog out while he is engaged in the performance of the pipe tunnel.

Repetitions of the second sequence can be taken with the handler entirely on one side of the box or the other. The handler will alternately use the directionals Get Out and Come. This is a proofing step.


  • 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6
  • 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8


The Get Out command is a warning of the encroachment of the handler.

The handler should aggressively encroach into the dog’s path (only after giving the command.

Use an off-arm hand signal along with the Get Out command.

Use the directional Get Out as you work. The idea is to transfer the dog’s reaction to the handler’s encroachment to the warning command. If you don’t use the verbal, you aren’t training anything.

The Infamous Dr. Brinkley

According to our sources, the town of Brinkley is actually named after railroad man Robert Campbell Brinkley, not medical quack John Richard Brinkley. Here is an excerpt from our entry on the town of Brinkley:

In 1852, the state of Arkansas presented a land grant in the northern part of Monroe County to the Little Rock and Memphis Railroad Company, an enterprise promoted by Robert Campbell Brinkley, a leading resident of Memphis, Tennessee. The community was incorporated in 1872 and named for this early pioneer, who was president of the railroad company, president of Planters Bank of Memphis, and an entrepreneur in westward development.

Ali Welkey


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at www.dogagility.org/store.

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