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Tweaking the front and finish

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Hello There!!! I've recently finished my dogs CD obedience title, he did VERY well...all first places in some big classes....


I have him trained through Utility and would like to start showing him for his CDX title next month...our main issue IIISSSSSS....fronts...and as anyone who has competed in Open knows...there are alot of them...I have tried all the "traditional" methods for tweaking the front...guide wires..backing up while fronting, working the circle and side passes...he gets his front perfect aboout %50 of the time..otherwise his butt is always out a shave to the side, enough for a point off...


REALLY hoping someone with some experience might have any other suggestions???



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Not necessarily a fix, but something I learned I was doing some time ago at a Denise Fenzi seminar:


Does he come in crooked and then you fix it and the reward him? I was incorporating the fix as part of the behavior chain and wondering why my dog couldn't figure it out. Duh. He thought he could come in and we'd square the front and then he got rewarded...no wonder he had no idea what I wanted.


Once I stopped rewarding for the fixed front and only rewarding him for an initial straight front in the first place (and I had to go backwards a bit to ensure he was getting it) he started consistently coming in straight. It was an "a-ha" moment for me.

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I like using a platform too. I also work on my dog coming and putting his muzzle into my hands; then I can use my hands as a guide as they're preparing to sit. Exercises that teach hind end awareness (like backing up, or "getting in" when they're crooked at heel position) help overall. Some dogs don't even seem to know that their body extends past their shoulders! Their head is facing you, so they figure they're good.

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Don't drill them and keep him guessing. Have you proofed them with your back to him? What about moving? Away from proper? Really make the error glaring? Is it just his butt? Or is he himself off center yet straight? Cookie or toy toss through the legs w/o asking for *front*?

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