Now that the dog is able to consistently do Touch, pointing in any direction at the training venue, the dog is now ready to be introduced to the distraction of other dogs running in an adjacent lane. These distraction dogs can be doing any Dog-Game in the other lane while the Touch learner dog is being sent to touch the target box at various times, depending on which certificate it is attempting.
The introduction of distraction training is very important in any Dog-Game as many dogs (particularly those bred to chase prey or herd animals) have a very strong instinct to chase anything that moves. This instinct is even more heightened when the dog is working and excited, so the dog needs to learn that taking his eyes off the motivator and running to the barrier results in him not being given the motivator and the withdrawal of his handler's attention. The dog soon realises it is far more fun to play the Touch Game rather than make a futile attempt at chasing the other dog, which he can never reach due to the netting being used as a barrier between the lanes.
It may seem rather pointless to take so long over distraction training. However, this early training will be very beneficial once the dog progresses on to Bounce & Touch when it has to cope with doing sendaways over jumps as well.
|WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT A BARRIER, SUCH AS PLASTIC NETTING, BE USED BETWEEN THE TWO DOGS WHEN DOING SILVER. This prevents either dog running into the other's lane and causing it harm if it becomes over-excited or anxious.|
|You can use either two or three lanes when teaching a dog to do Touch Silver. Three lanes is particularly useful as one dog can work in Lane One, the other in Lane Three, and Lane Two can be kept empty. This is because some dogs need to have quite some distance between them and another dog to do Silver, and the empty lane with the two sets of netting between the dogs helps them to cope better with the situation.|
See Guidelines for a full explanation of how to set up for success. Ideally the dog should be trained in exactly the same location that it was first taught Recall.Training and test for Level 1 certificate
Set up the two lanes using the first location that the dog learned Touch in. If no netting is available, try to set the two sets of finish poles as far apart as possible so that there is the maximum amount of distance between the two dogs running.Training and test for Level 2 certificate
Set up the two lanes as in Level One but instead of releasing the dogs from the start at the same time, the distraction dog will run first and the learner dog should be released the moment the distraction dog begins its run back from the 51ft marker (so that the dogs are running in opposite directions). Take in to consideration the difficulties the dog had doing Level One and set the lanes up at a reasonable distance apart.
The location of the lanes in the training venue is not so important at the moment but should be taken into consideration should the dog have difficulties coping with the exercise.Training and test for Level 3 certificate
Set up the two lanes (see diagram) as in Level One but take in to consideration the difficulties the dog had doing Levels One and Two, setting the lanes up at a reasonable distance apart.
Having gained a certificate at Levels 1, 2 and 3 the dog has now earned its Silver Touch rosette.
The dog can now progress on to Gold Touch.
As soon as the Entry Form and fees are received the Dog-Games staff will enter your dog's details on the website Roll of Honour, so that you have a record of its achievements as it progresses through the Dog-Games, and your certificate (and your rosette when you gain the third certificate) will be posted to you.
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