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Old 12-18-2011, 10:03 PM
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Training in small spaces

I thought it would be nice if we could all share the things we work on, when we only have a small space to train in. By small space, I am talking like 10'x10', or smaller. I for one do a ton of things in my house over the winter, atleast in this past year anyway. I used to think there just wasn't enough room to train anything, and wouldn't train over our Minnesota winters, since I do not have anywhere indoors within 50 miles to train. It really pushed back my progress, and made the winter blues seem to last forever. Things have changed for me now, and though I still have the same small space, I have been making great use of it, and have been making progress in my training. By sharing the things we work on in small spaces, hopefully it will help someone along the way that felt they were stuck in the same situation as I was. There is no reason to stop training, we just need to be more creative.

These are things I have trained in my small space.
Go Outs, Fronts, Finishes, signals, articles, heeling, and many more.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:19 PM
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I train out in our garage/shop. It is supposed to be where I park my car, but the car stays out and I use the inside for my "training building". The space is basically just a bit bigger than my car (12 x 15 maybe). I have some closet mirrors on one wall and a ring gate in front of the garage door-two gates, three stantions. I'd like to use the other side, it's much bigger, but DH would shoot me if I made the big pick up sit outside.

I work heeling, figure 8, walk back, fetch and everything you mentioned above. Also, the long way, I'll do OVERs to bumpers. One thing about it, they are usually successful with them!
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:35 PM
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I have no idea about the dimensions... but I do think I work with a lot more space than other people do. I'll just throw this in here as somebody who does train inside a majority of the time.

I have a long hallway that forms a perfect T section with the kitchen on one side and the rest of the foyer on the other. That's where we do most of our "heeling homework". If you are just working on training attention, rapid sits, wrap about turns, footwork... this is enough space. Same thing with Go-outs since it's a controlled situation (dog has to go straight out to the end of the hall). We also taught recalls and retrieves for the same reason - only one direction for the dog to go, control, etc...

Our living room and family room are other options for stays. And jumps in the living room since it has the thickest carpet (the family room does too, but it's smaller and more cluttered). Both rooms are also wide enough for me to train finishes there without my guy bumping into walls (like in the hallway), plus carpeted so his feet won't be slipping out under him when he does a flip finish.

Our basement rec room is about double the size of our living room - but it's all tile floor, so I just work on dumbbell training and heeling/f8s down there. No jumping.

If there isn't a lot of snow out there (like now), we train out on the road in front of our house.

If there's snow, I generally back the cars out of the garage and do some training out there. It's a two car garage, so plenty of room.

I also have a couple favorite spots downtown which are sheltered from the weather (covered pavilion, covered storefront) that work out great for training full distance stays and recalls.

*** If I were training in tight quarters, I would focus on attention, pivots, side steps, scoot heeling, scoot fronts, dumbbell work (it's not all about long distance retrieves), stays... basically everything.

My rally instructor who also teaches comp obedience and was an assistant in our obedience classes for Jacks first couple years - she calls the foundation exercises (pivots, footwork, heeling with attention, scoots, etc) kitchen work. I get the idea that the majority of training that she does with her dogs away from the training building happens in her kitchen.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:57 PM
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Go outs huh? Wow explain that one because there just doesn't seem enough space.

Fronts obviously, scent discrimination, attention, stays (including OOS), signals...I am sure you can start a lot of exercises in small spaces too depending on how you train them. For example if you use a cone and teach the dog to wrap around it for BJ.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:15 PM
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I start go-outs very close, so until they are at full distance, I can work in my "training building" aka garage.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:13 AM
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I use the front of my house for Go Outs. I have a LR, Kitchen and DR all in row and if I set up a chair with a target in the Dining Room, I can practice full length go outs since the doorways and kitchen island form an alley.

But honestly, my house does not really lend itself to training inside - the floors are all wood or ceramic, so while I can do some quick heeling, fronts and finishes I generally head out to either rentals, classes, my backyards or go on a roundabout to stores, schools, parks, the truck stop etc. It gets cold for sure though.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:53 AM
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I also may put kid play mats in the grooming room - this is about 10 x 12 feet. I looked into Great Mats last year but they drop ship requiring someone to be home.

But the play mats or indoor outdoor carpeting may be an option. With my King I had matting and a cushy carpet that I rolled out for each use in the garage for jumping. It worked but it was tight - a one car garage with the house mechanics also in there (water pump, furnace, oil tank, water heater, work benches etc)
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:32 PM
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One great thing about winter here, is that it forces us to work on all the little things that actually eat up points!! I was thinking I could move my kitchen table out of the dining room, and into the kitchen, so I have more space to train. Then I could go from the livingroom to the dining room.

I trained Filly to do "hit it" go outs, so when we do them in the house, I make sure my husband isn't home. I don't think he would like to see her putting her paw on the curtains, woodwork, or kitchen table. I sit her most of the time, but she loves to hit things!!
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:19 PM
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When I train at home, I can only train really outside. I live in a 1024 sq ft ranch. With lots of furniture and dog crates.

I have started training 'go outs' in our upstairs hall. Only about 20' but it is the only straight spot I have. Our basement has a big sectional in it, I can heel around it, but it is kind of hard, with support posts and a table in the corner.

I have done some DOR work with cheese balls, not getting to far away from me but that is working. Gabby needs to tone her fetch down for obedience so indoors works for that too. However if the dumbell is over 10' from her she POUNCES on it. Even if I softly whisper 'fetch'.

I do some obedience training in agility class while we wait our turn, but that will end this coming session. Privates for the next 6 weeks.

I am open for more ways I can train. Since I am new at obedience it is hard for me to think outside the box. I can in agility but not obedience. I am still too literal myself.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:33 PM
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Footwork, and pivots would be a great thing for indoor winter training! Since you are fairly new to obedience, it would work great, then you won't make all the mistakes that some of us made
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