What is the difference between a skill and an exercise????
An exercise is something I am required to do in the ring. Drop on recall, heeling, each sign in rally, obstacle in agility, etc. All of these are exercises. They are the “Things” we are required to do at shows.
Skills are individual tricks that I teach my dog. As my dog learns more tricks, I can start combining tricks that will be combined together to complete an exercise at a show.
Think of all “exercises” as nothing more than a bunch of tricks chained together! So…. Tricks include things like going around me for the short finish, jumping to my either my right or left hand for the beginning of the long and short finish, etc.
When training, I teach skills. I break down any exercise I might need for a show and teach all the skills separately. Once my dog is proficient with the skill, I start to mix and match what I may need for a ring performance but I also mix and match just to be random and test my dog’s knowledge and understanding of all the skills.
My point is for you to start thinking out of the “exercise box”. (Don’t just train exercises.)
Start training skills/tricks. Proof and perfect each trick/skill to meet your criteria (which you should set high). Mix and match tricks/skills, to test your dogs knowledge and have fun!!!