Yesterday I misreported that the “Named Obstacle” training method was not included in the Joker’s Notebook issue #0. That was incorrect.

The Named Obstacle training method is included in Joker’s Notebook #0 beginning on pages 51 through 58. The Notebook uses the “restraint and release” method for beginning the training. Not all dogs are comfortable with the “restraint” part of this method, which is most appropriate for a type of dog eager to forge forward into the work.

As I am using this opportunity to update the Notebook [primarily to include links to YouTube videos]… so of course the page numbers won’t jive with the next publication of this volume.


Obstacle “discrimination” is defined as two obstacles placed in close proximity (right next to each other) as options to the dog. In the Named Obstacle training we endeavor to take the time and effort to actually teach the names of obstacles to the dog.

But what if the obstacles are the same obstacle? Here’s a good example:


We’re going to have to call this a “directional discrimination”. At #3 it’s not enough just to tell the dog Tunnel! And at #5 it’s not enough to tell the dog to Jump.

Tomorrow we will begin a discussion on teaching the dog absolute directional commands, notably… Left, and Right.

Notes Aside

This is an ongoing series intended as homework for Canine Manners distance seminar students; March 20 and 21 2017 in Broken Arrow, OK, (and others interested in training great distance skills who might visit these pages).

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The web store is up and running. You’ll find in the web store The Joker’s Notebook, an invaluable reference for teaching an agility dog (and his handler) to work a distance apart.

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