Taking a Jump on the Go-Out Command

directed jumping how dogs learn proofing Jan 08, 2023

Have you ever had a dog that headed for the jump when told to “Go-out?” I often get questions about this issue, as it is a fairly common problem. Why dogs do this can be explained in a number of ways.

  1. The dog finds jumping more rewarding than doing the go-out.
  2. The dog is unsure where the location of go-out is, so chooses to jump as he has a high reinforcement history for jumping.
  3. The dog is nervous about something or someone beyond the go-out, or in another ring.

Notice that the reasons are all tied to confusion or fear, reasons that I consider “effort errors.” When a dog is confused or afraid, he needs our help (See How Dogs Learn for information about effort and lack of effort errors).

The above video includes a drill you can use to help your dog overcome this error.

All Utility dogs will benefit from this drill, but especially those that have offered to jump when told to go-out.

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