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Using Speed Drills / Games in K9 Training

Today, Crystal, Stacy, and Robin discuss how they use speed drills, or speed games in their training. They chat about the value of speed games as a teaching tool, how they allow for efficient training, and the ways in which they make training fun for the dogs. Crystal leads an effort to rebrand speed drills as speed games, to drive an emphasis on the point that they are not just for training, but also for fun. Stacy notes the importance of centering motivation over outcome when setting speed games. They explore the concept of rate of reinforcement, and the benefits that come from it when properly utilized, or as Robin says, “Don’t train till it’s ugly.”

Robin reflects on how she’s used speed games to address latency, particularly to build on foundational skills. They dig deeper into the factors that affect speed games, such as wind placement, before exploring the ways in which dogs’ memories are visual and how that can be used for training.

They then discuss arousal levels and how they impact training. Robin introduces the importance of training videos, especially for addressing the trainer’s timing. Stacy shares an anecdote about how she built confidence in her mini-Aussie to make his movements easier to read, prompting a discussion around the importance of setting criteria. Crystal asks what one should be looking for regarding body language when teaching somebody, to which Stacy and Robin reply with what they watch for in both human and dog movement.

They announce a roundtable discussion July 7 which fans of the podcast can tune into for $20.

Key Topics:

  • Introduction (0:31)

  • Using speed games to address the Ds (2:06)

  • Speed drills as a game (3:09)

  • The wayward home for dog trainers (5:48)

  • Rates of reinforcement (7:45)

  • Latency in speed games (15:48)

  • The importance of building on foundations (17:56)

  • Wind placement (24:08)

  • Dogs’ visual memory (27:19)

  • Neutrality in responses (30:34)

  • Arousal levels (32:01)

  • Training videos (36:27)

  • Confidence (42:15)

  • Setting criteria (45:36)

  • Watching body language (47:00)

  • Roundtable announcement (52:01)


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