Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 15

6 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 12 1 2 3 During this training you are welcome to use any body, hand, and voice cues you would normally use to communicate with the dog on course. If at any time the dog gets confused, please do not pressure him at all, but go back to the first steps of the game. 7. Once the dog has mastered the game up to this point, add a second jump and repeat Steps 2 through 6, incorporating negotiation of the second obstacle. Please note that Step 1, where the handler remains static, should only be performed with one obstacle in order to encourage the dog to always reference his handler’s position and/or movement before committing to a line of obstacles. 8. Repeat Steps 2 through 6 with a single obstacle, but this time use a spread, tire, tunnel, or chute instead of a jump. When you’re ready to progress, add a jump as the second obstacle. 9. Next use a jump as the first obstacle and play with a variety of obstacles as the #2 obstacle (in addition to spreads, tire, tunnel, and chute, you may use weave poles and contacts). 10. Add an off-course option. Please do it very gradually so that you do not overface the dog at this point. This means that the off-course obstacle should initially be placed so that it is not too enticing to the dog. You can gradually increase the challenge of avoiding it. Obstacle Targeting Teach your dog obstacle names. It is not that hard. Contrary to popular belief, dogs are very good at recognizing voice cues. Start with an obstacle your dog likes the most; the tunnel comes to mind. Walk up to a tunnel with your dog and say Tunnel. Don’t use any special hand signals or other motion cues. If the dog takes the tunnel, reward handsomely. If the dog doesn’t, try to show him the tunnel by gently holding him by the collar in front of the tunnel entrance, say your tunnel command a few times, and help the dog into the tunnel. You would be surprised how many dogs hesitate to take an obstacle, even a tunnel, without motion from the handler. Once over this initial hurdle, add distance and angles. There shouldn’t be any other obstacles around except for the one you are playing with. Change the tunnel to a different obstacle and play the same game of voice cue recognition. When playing with contact obstacles, it is advisable to put them low, so the dog won’t have to be struggling if he lacks speed and/or commitment. Please be careful not to ask your dog to engage contact obstacles at unsafe angles. Once your dog knows his obstacles by name, you can use this skill to target him to a distinct obstacle right from the start. If a potential target obstacle is clearly visible from the start of the sequence, find the best setup angle and tell the dog the name of the target obstacle several times during your start-line routine. Once the dog locks onto the target obstacle, you are off to the races. If enough effort is invested in teaching obstacle names to the dog, even the hardest discrimination is not a problem, including the tunnel/dogwalk monster in the opening of your course. This skill is handy for all dogs, but it is an absolute must if you start in line with your dog. All right, this should get you off to a good start. I’ll race you from the start line. D want to practice all the starting positions between three and nine o’clock as shown in Figure 6. 3. Repeat the game adding more distance from the jump and then working around the clock again. 4. Now substitute a winged jump for the wingless jump. Wings add a lot of difficulty in the in-line start. There is a greater degree of separation between you and the dog, which may cause anxiety and/or communication breakdown. Teach yourself not to get stuck behind the wing. 5. Now let’s add handler movement. It’s important that you do not push into the dog’s path and display no urgency in your movement. Reduce the dog’s distance from the jump back to what it was in Step 1. Ask the dog to jump. Once the dog commits, move in the logical direction along the dog’s path, which should be determined by his angle of approach to the jump. You still want the dog to look and come to you, but this time it’s harder since you are now a moving target. Reward the dog in a position facing the direction he was going and keep him on the side of you he started on. Work around the clock (three to nine o’clock), and then add distance. 6. Next repeat the game adding a landing-side cross (front cross, rear cross, and blind cross), a reverse flow pivot, and any other handling maneuvers you normally use when running your dog. Promptly remove the off-course obstacle if the dog gets confused. This is very important. Dogs go off course due to misdirection and not to spite you. You and your dog may not be communicating properly at this point in the game. See what you can do to better show your dog the correct obstacle before adding your off-course option back into the sequence. Olga has been involved in agility for nine years with her Canaan Dog ADCH Space and her Border Collie ADCH Luz, LAA-Platinum, and Grand Prix and Steeplechase finalist. Olga and Luz represented the U.S. at the 2006 IFCS World Championships and brought home five medals. Olga and her young BC, Yankee, traveled to Italy with the European Open U.S. Agility Team 2007. Olga lives in Los Angeles, California, and offers private lessons, seminars, and online instruction at her virtual agility school AgilityDynamite (www.AgilityDynamite.com). March 08 | Clean Run 15
http://www.AgilityDynamite.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run Magazine - March 2008

Clean Run Magazine - March 2008
Contents
Editorializing: An Anthropologist at a Dog Show
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Give Your Dog a Running Start
On Course with Ronda Carter
Trainer’s Forum
How to Get the Most from Your Agility Classes
Foundation Fundamentals: Restrained Recalls and Chase Games
What Is a Handling System?
Pre-Agility Skills: Laying the Foundation, Part 1
Alternative Medicine for Your Canine Athlete: Navigating the Options
Agility? Deaf-initely!
When Pigs Fly: Agility Success with “Impossible” Dogs
Skill of the Month
Shelter Champs: Sadie
Spy Kids: Goals to Prepare for Competition
Distance Challenge
Focus on Recalls
Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Back and Trunk Strengthening
In Cider
Letters
Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Clean Run Magazine - March 2008
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 2
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Contents
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 4
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Editorializing: An Anthropologist at a Dog Show
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 9
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 10
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Give Your Dog a Running Start
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 12
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 13
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 14
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 15
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 16
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 17
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - On Course with Ronda Carter
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 19
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 20
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 21
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Trainer’s Forum
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 23
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 24
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - How to Get the Most from Your Agility Classes
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 26
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 27
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 28
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Foundation Fundamentals: Restrained Recalls and Chase Games
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 30
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 31
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 32
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - What Is a Handling System?
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 34
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 35
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 36
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 37
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Pre-Agility Skills: Laying the Foundation, Part 1
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 39
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 40
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 41
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 42
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Alternative Medicine for Your Canine Athlete: Navigating the Options
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 44
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 45
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Agility? Deaf-initely!
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 47
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 48
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 49
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - When Pigs Fly: Agility Success with “Impossible” Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 51
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 52
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 53
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 54
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 55
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Skill of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 57
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 58
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Shelter Champs: Sadie
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 60
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 61
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 62
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Spy Kids: Goals to Prepare for Competition
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 64
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 65
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 66
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 67
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 68
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Distance Challenge
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 70
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 71
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 72
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Focus on Recalls
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Back and Trunk Strengthening
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 75
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 76
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - In Cider
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 78
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 79
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 80
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Letters
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 83
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 84
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