right-to front

Canine Freestyle Moves Database

Dog stands centred in front of the handler with his head facing right. (Dog’s right hand side is centered across the front of the handler.)

Basic X Pen layouts for teaching Right-to Front position.

Right-to Front #1
Suggested cue File (part of ProFile)

For this behaviour, start with the opening fully open to get the dog used to coming straight in. Position yourself from the right hand panel so the dog has enough room to stand centred to you. If the dog has a tendency to stand crooked you can hone his precision by swinging the end panel in so he has just enough room to stand in front of you and keep him centred there. This will make him stand forward rather than back. Your feet should be between his front and back paws.

Right-to Front #2
Suggested cue File (part of ProFile)

Here the dog enters the X Pen and moves into position with a little more difficulty. Start with the end left panel straight so the dog can walk straight in and gradually swing it in to make the dog work to find the position.

The following pictures show a different X Pen layout for teaching Right-to Front position. With this layout the dog is still guided into position, but attaining position is slightly more complex than walking directly into position.

Four views are shown.

Back View

Left Side View

Front View

Right Side View

Click on the picture to view the video clip.

With each view the camera remained stationary but the perspective of the X Pen altered to show the handler and pen
        back view ,
        left side view,
        front view and
        right hand view.

The important thing to note here, is, from the dog’s point of view,

  • the location of the X Pen opening is on a different side of the X Pen
  • the “picture”, i.e. the look, of the X Pen is different and
  • once the handler is in the X pen, it is different again, because the handler is facing a different direction.

The wall is also a part of this “environment”. Here, the wall is the only thing that is “constant”. The dog is aware of the “whole” picture and knows when the picture changes; hence “change of context” for the dog.

How To Teach

The dog needs to be comfortable entering and being inside the X Pen before you can use it for training.

Initially set up your X Pen configuration so the dog can walk directly into position (refer to above diagram).
Once the dog is in position click then treat in position.
Toss a treat to land outside the pen on the same side as the opening to make it easy for the dog to return to position.

You may need to assist the dog by luring/targeting him into position to show him what to do. Fade the lure/target as soon as possible. Eventually you want the dog to be able to find position on his own without any movement on your part. The aim is for the dog to target the front of your body with his right side such that your feet are centered between his front and back paws. He learns this through habituation. If you can get the dog to lean/touch you with the part of his right side that you want centered to you, all the better.

If the dog stands with his rear end slightly to your left, angle the panel behind the dog to provide a tighter fit. The dog needs to be straight and in correct position.

In initial training of this position, the dog may have a tendency to lean or step back to make eye contact to get the treat after the click. Always reward in correct position and if the dog has leaned back, reward so that the dog leans forward to get it. After a while (a few training sessions) the dog will learn that the reward will always come in the same place for this position and will not bother to lean or step back.

You can also click then treat for the dog just maintaining position, that is, feet and head remain still and the body is in correct position.

As the dog becomes confident, when resetting the dog, toss the treats in the direction around the points of a clock. This enables the dog to learn to return to you and assume position from various directions. Entering the X pen teaches him to always approach the position the same way, regardless of which direction he came from.

When the dog is straight and in correct position 80% of the time you can add the cue.

When the dog has eaten his treat and starts to turn around to resume position, say the cue clearly and distinctly. Once the dog is in correct position click, then treat.

When the dog is coming into position reliably on cue, using the same configuration turn the X Pen 90 degrees left. With this change of context you may need to lower criteria and assist the dog again by luring or targeting him into position. When the dog understands this orientation, move the X Pen 90 degrees left again and repeat the training. Train in all four orientations.

If the dog is learning quickly you can test to see if the dog understands the position in a very wide X Pen configuration. Gradually fade the X Pen.

If the X Pen cannot be faded try a more difficult configuration, like the one in the video clips. This shape makes the dog work harder to reach correct position.

Once the dog understands position without the aid of the X Pen, you should be able to call the dog from any direction using your cue word and he should come and stand in position.

You can also widen the X Pen so that you have a little room behind you to test this position. With the dog in Right-to Front position, move back an inch and see if the dog sidesteps to maintain position. If he does, jackpot. Your dog is on the way to learning this position. If this happened do not assume the dog understands this position. Train thoroughly and then proof.

NOTE: If you have cued the dog and he comes but does not stand straight in position, NEVER bring out a food lure to get him into position. Ignore it and go back to training.


 back to teaching position using an X Pen

back to fundamental orientations

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