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Our mission is to promote positive reward based training (in the context of agility) with a view to providing members with the skills they need to participate in ANKC agility trials. Of course you do not have to intend to trial to join classes at BAD but our training philosophy and class content will support those who do. This means that you will work on handling moves away from equipment first – we do not run classes where dogs are introduced to equipment immediately and perform it on lead!

At BAD we believe that a successful Dog Agility team is built on a solid foundation of basic skills. Using POSITIVE TRAINING TECHNIQUES with an emphasis on play and reinforcement, we take the time to develop and build on these basic skills before teams move on to training equipment.

Positive training uses rewards to facilitate learning, rather than punishment or correction. The key to positive training is to determine what motivates your dog and then use these motivators as rewards for a correct performance. You can use food, toys, verbal praise or a combination of these to reward your dog – in fact you can use anything that your dog finds reinforcing. When you are training a new behaviour, it is important to reward your dog EVERY time the correct action is performed.

Positive training methods are successful because animals tend to keep doing things that are rewarding and stop doing things that are not rewarded or ignored.

Some people think that positive training never teaches a dog that particular behaviours are unacceptable. This is a common misconception. Positive trainers do teach this concept, but they don’t use punishment techniques to do so.

Underlying this philosophy is an emphasis on relationship based training where agility becomes the ultimate game your dog can play with you which in turn will help you build a great relationship with your dog.