Advanced Balance Disc Exercises & Training Tips

Outlined in this video is a training session with different conditioning exercises for balance, strength and coordination.  Featured in the video is a dog who already knows these exercises and tricks but is revisiting behaviors and knows how to think through what might be expected and what he can get rewarded for.  These conditioning exercises are not only building the dog physically but also mentally by the dog working through problems.  Highlighted throughout the video are explanations of the training and process that I am using while working with Zae.  These tips generalize across dog training and different ways to incorporate into exercises.

The balance disc exercises I was asking of Zae in this video were more advanced because these are skills that have been practiced since he was young.  When training or working with your dog only ask things of the dog in which he is confident at that level to perform or work through.  Know your dog physically and mentally and what they can handle.  If the dog starts to get too frustrated-know your dog and when they need encouragement, help or just a simple reset to try again.  As trainers and handlers we want dogs that are confident and have the skills to work through problems.  This comes through positive training and encouragement to the dog and the brain is a muscle that can be worked and become stronger.

These exercises are fun because they are so positive.  The dog can offer pretty much anything and be gaining physically.  Dog interacts with balance discs and pods, gets rewarded which becomes very fun and satisfying for the dog.  The balance discs and pods create an awareness of where the dog is putting his feet, how his weight is being distributed and building on the dogs overall core strength.  All of these skills and benefits are ideal for agility and any sport dogs.  Fun little exercises to work with your pets too.

I teach exercises and skills like this in my online course Skill & Relationship Building.  Registration is ongoing- sign up today !

Also, I am excited to now be offering Individual Video Analysis These will be detailed analysis and feedback on your competition or training videos.  A great option for those not wanting to commit to a full class or lesson plan right now but are looking for some help.  I love the details and analysis of handler and dog lines on course. Along with having a natural eye for these details I also have experience which has helped develop me into the talented handler I am today.  Looking forward to helping you be the best team you can be. 👣🐾

Playing with Engagement

Playing with engagement is a great multidisciplinary foundation skill for any dog sport or dog trainer. From agility to flyball and even sports like IPO and obedience.  Playing games like these with your dog in turn builds on their drive too.  I also like to incorporate flatwork games with this engagement with my dogs and find it to be a great exercise to warm the dog up and get their focus on me.

Zae came to me as a dog who had no drive or interest in toys and through training and strengthening these skills he engages in play with me.  And on the other hand of the spectrum, Mayhem finds toys very rewarding on his own and it has taken training with him to have him engage me for play with the toy instead of keeping it to himself.  The last clip is of Stormy who is a very high-drive dog playing another variation of engagement.

If you’re looking to have a dog who is more engaging and WANTS to play with you  and strengthen your own skills as a dog trainer I teach skills like these and more in my online course Skill & Relationship Building  🙂

And a bonus heeling video with Zae 🙂


Skills & Relationship Building

Quick, simple, fun exercises perfect for using your dogs food bowl while working and building different essential skills


This is an informal class open to any skill level and is perfect for quick training indoors and keeping your dog mentally exercised.  This builds on supplemental skills and engagement which can be incorporated and beneficial to current and future trainings.  The exercises in this course will build on different foundation skills and strengthen the bond for both dogs and owners.  The tricks and games in this course are simple and perfect for working with the dogs bowl of food during their meal times–quick, easy and fun. 🙂  This course is based upon the food bowl games I play with my dogs regularly and especially during winter when it is too cold to go outside.

Skills incorporated:

  • Increased Body Awareness
  • Conditioning and Coordination
  • Strengthens Bond with Dog
  • Builds on Dogs Thinking Skills
  • Impulse Control and Drive
  • Focus and Motivation

The duration of this course is 6 weeks and is offered on an ongoing basis.  Class participants will receive modules to work on, the ability to post videos and questions along with receiving unlimited feedback.  The cost is $70 /€65 for one spot with one dog and $100/€94 for two dogs.




KC International Agility Festival 2017

Thanks much to Ifan Griffiths for the fantastic photos from KC Fest._MG_1804-2_MG_1814-2_MG_1838-2_MG_1840-2_MG_1865 copy