Why I LOVE secure fields!

If you follow my Instagram you will know I’m a fan of secure fields. You may wonder why I use them if my dogs are trained?!!

Let me explain….

Not all walks are suited to all dogs. A few years ago I wrote a blog about why I don’t (always) walk my dog, it explains quite a lot and you can read it by clicking here. I wanted to expand on this with my love for secure fields.

As a trainer I know that reinforcement is happening ALL the time, not just when we ‘train’ our dogs.

All of my walks both using secure fields and not using them include a certain amount of training. This comes naturally to me as it is what I do day in, day out with clients so I don’t really think of it as training, for me it is more that I reward my dogs for the good choices they make when we are together. Like I’ve mentioned in previous blogs the rewards I use aren’t always food, they are sometimes play, praise, affection or the opportunity to carry on what they were doing.

The reason I love secure fields is that it provides me and my dogs with so much opportunity!

  • A chance for them to run free without the worry of interuptions from other dogs or people.
  • A chance for them to just be dogs!
  • A secure area to practice training skills.
  • A chance for me to enjoy time with them without having to constantly be in training mode!

I am sure there are more but these are my top reasons why I love secure fields.

Other dogs on walks are often the cause of many behaviour problems that develop. Not all dogs like other dogs in their space and it is actually really rude to just let your dog run up to another dog! You don’t know if the other dog likes unknown dogs and it certainly isn’t something I encourage as a trainer. I much prefer my dogs to ignore any other dogs on walks. I do let them interact with other dogs that I know and that I can trust are compatible with my dogs.

There are all kinds of secure dog fields and I like them all for different reasons.

You get the more ‘sterile’ ones which are a piece of grass fenced off with nothing else in it. These ones are brilliant to practice any skills that need practicing with minimal distractions.

Then you get ones with the ‘play equipment’ for me I personally like these as it is a way for us to generalise some of our agility skills however, I’m not a massive fan of there being kit in fields that anyone can use as this is potentially dangerous for the dogs if they don’t know how to use the kit correctly. It just worries me about injuries.

Then you get the ones that are natural, like the one where my coaching is based (Paws and Play Paddock at Leashaw Farm) Having spaniels this type of field is heaven for them! A big open space with lots of natural woodland. A chance to do what comes naturally to them with my peice of mind that I don’t have to worry about that scent drive taking them too far!

Obviously I train my dogs while we use the field and fields like this are a perfect training ground for a busy spaniel, but like I said earlier it is sometimes nice to switch off and just enjoy time with them without constantly recalling them etc.

I am really lucky that I can use the whole of the secure field in my coaching and I am often working with clients on a variety of skills in the natural woodland and open areas of the paddock. The field is also next to a quiet road and a semi busy canal path, so I am able to help the dogs to learn the vital skills of disengagement from distractions and those all important recall skills!

If you are on the fence about secure fields give them a go, practice your training or just let them be dogs for an hour. Either way I’m sure you and your dog will love it!

Happy Training!

Katrina 🐾

Published by KB Agility

Games Based Agility Coach. One to One Agility Training. Small Group Workshops and Seminars. Based in Derbyshire.

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