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Position changes in obedience

Position changes for precision geeks!

Agnieszka Janarek Agnieszka Janarek
Start: 01 Aug 2023
Next: TBA


  • Duration: 6 weeks.
  • Learning materials: Written lessons with video tutorials.
  • Access to other Premium members' threads for additional insights.
  • Certificate of attendance upon completion.
  • Lifetime, 24/7 access to course materials.
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  • Earn 15 loyalty program points.
  • Personalized attention: Instructor analyzes 12 minutes of your training videos weekly.
  • Engage in interactive learning with homework and daily feedback.

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This course is a specialized program that focuses on refining position changes and enhancing distance control in obedience training. Position changes, such as sit from stand, sit from down, stand from down, and more, play a crucial role in obedience competitions, requiring a combination of precision and speed to achieve fluency. Additionally, distance control exercises provide an opportunity to delve into the intricacies of micro-movements and subtle weight shifts that significantly impact learning and behavior.

Who would benefit from taking this course?

This course is designed for everyone who have a passion for obedience training and a keen interest in perfecting position changes and distance control with their dogs. Whether you are a competitive obedience enthusiast, a professional dog trainer, or simply an obedience hobbyist, this course provides valuable insights and techniques to elevate your training skills. It is ideal for those who have already established a foundation in clicker training and wish to advance their knowledge in precision-based exercises.

What will you learn from this course:

Throughout the course, participants will gain an in-depth understanding of advanced position changes and distance control techniques. The key topics covered include:

  • Front-Anchored Positions: Explore various position changes, such as sit from stand, sit from down, stand from down, stand from sit, down from sit, and down from stand. Learn the precise mechanics and cues required to execute these movements with accuracy and speed.
  • Building Precision: Focus on refining each position change, emphasizing precision in movement and alignment. Discover techniques to enhance your dog’s consistency and fluency in executing the desired positions.
  • Adding Distance: Gradually introduce distance into your training, teaching your dog to perform position changes accurately from a distance. Develop techniques to maintain clear communication and ensure reliable responses even when at a distance from your dog.
  • Adding Cues: Learn how to add clear and effective verbal and visual cues to your position change exercises. Understand the importance of consistent cues for prompt and reliable responses from your dog.
  • Adding Duration: Explore strategies to increase the duration of each position change, teaching your dog to hold the desired position for extended periods. Develop techniques to build endurance and concentration in your dog’s performance.
  • Trial Variations: Prepare for obedience trials by incorporating variations into your position change exercises. Learn how to adapt to different trial scenarios and environments while maintaining precision and fluency.

Please note that rear-anchored positions will be covered in separate courses.

Prerequisites for this course include a solid foundation in clicker training. Participants should have prior experience with clicker training techniques and a basic understanding of positive reinforcement principles.

By the end of this course, participants will have acquired advanced skills in position changes and distance control, enabling them to achieve greater precision, speed, and fluency in obedience training. You will possess the knowledge and techniques to effectively train your dog to perform various position changes with accuracy and consistency. Whether your goal is to excel in competitive obedience or simply strengthen your bond and communication with your canine companion, this course will enhance your training capabilities and take your obedience skills to new heights.

Course Testimonials

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  • Week 1 05 Mar 2024

    • Introduction

      Read this before proceeding to the first lesson!…

    • Rule book and distance control exercise

      Position changes are one of my favorite exercises from the obedience ring. Starting in class 1 all the way to…

    • Clarity in training. Learning cycle

      Learning is defined as changing your behavior based on experience with consequences. The process of learning happens in the form…

    • Value of offered behavior

      I find shaping and offering behavior to be an incredibly valuable approach in teaching behaviors. It empowers the dog and…

    • Chin rest and hand touch

      Chin rest will be a foundation for both sit and down in this course. We need to really focus on…

    • Down from stand

      In this lecture, we will delve into the early stages of the “down from stand with front anchored” position change.

    • Delivery protocol

      Does it really matter? Even if we agree to predominantly use positive reinforcement (R+) in our training, does the way…

  • Week 2 05 Mar 2024

    • Starting for the end

        Starting from the end! The first thing that comes to mind is backward chaining. …

    • Stand from down

      In this lecture, we will delve into the initial phases of the reverse loop, building upon the content from…

    • Sit from stand

      In this lecture, we will delve into the initial phases of transitioning from a stand with anchored front limbs to…

  • Week 3 05 Mar 2024

    • Sit from down!

      This is actually an advanced version of the movement we introduced in sit from the stand. The position of the…

    • Stand from sit

      The topography of this position change:   Starting position: SIT; front paws directly under shoulders, vertical forelimbs, hind paws lined…

    • 3. Variations in handler’s position (Free lesson)

      Our typical starting point is the sit position, whether on the floor or a chair. This initial stance grants us…

  • Week 4 05 Mar 2024

    • Down from sit

      This is an advanced version of the movement we introduced in down from the stand. The position of the front…

    • Fading out prompts

      Quite often, we use various prompts to teach behaviors. Targets, platforms, target stick, hand, and many more. It is easy…

  • Week 5 05 Mar 2024

    • Adding distance

      On of the few struggles I noticed in training is how to reinforce a behavior that is performed at the…

    • Wait for cue behavior

       Wait for cue behavior is basically another way to call one part of the loop, one part of the stimulus…

  • Week 6 05 Mar 2024

    • Adding cue

      We already have worked on our wait for cue behavior, which is a crucial part of stimulus control. At some…

    • Outro

      Farewell and Keep Moving Forward! Mega Cheers and…

Free Lesson

Variations in handler’s position

Our typical starting point is the sit position, whether on the floor or a chair. This initial stance grants us better control over the dog’s movements. However, to ensure the future advancement of this exercise, maintaining a straight body position by both the handler and the dog is essential.

Once we’ve established a seamless loop with the desired behavior, my next move involves introducing variations in my body posture. This adjustment occurs before implementing a cue for the behavior or removing any prompts like targets or mats. This phase can prove to be challenging for both the dog and the handler.

In our pursuit of our dogs’ success, we sometimes unknowingly offer subtle cues by leaning forward, nodding our heads, or wiggling our fingers. Although these adjustments might aid in the short run, they inadvertently impede our dogs’ comprehension of the behavior. They begin relying on these slight cues, incorporating them into the behavior itself. Subsequently, when we later introduce a visual or verbal cue, the absence of these inconspicuous signals can bewilder our dogs, leading to difficulties in executing the behavior, especially in competitive scenarios.

This is why our emphasis in this lecture shifts to transitioning to a neutral position. In the realm of obedience, a neutral stance for the handler involves standing upright with arms relaxed and positioned alongside the hips. Once we establish stability in this stance and our dogs consistently perform the behavior without any breaks in smoothness, we can then start integrating a cue.

If you’re still in the process of phasing out prompts, I strongly encourage you to persist in using them to bolster your dog’s success. We will delve into the process of gradually eliminating prompts in week 4.

The example I’ve shared here illustrates the progression I followed with my dog, Gapcio, for the “down from the stand” exercise. Each of these steps typically spanned about 2 to 3 sessions. Remember to advance only when your dog has achieved fluency (a seamless loop) at each stage, and subsequently introduce challenges accordingly.


  • record a training session for one of the position changes we’ve been working in the past weeks, change your position while you work on offered loop