Clean Run - March 2013 - (Page 11)

Teaching Verbal Directional Commands, Part 1 By Dawn Weaver, photos by Graham Bryant except where noted 1 © WENDI PENCILLE/HORSEFEATHERS PHOTOGRAPHY 2 3 Here! Back Right Go on I always teach verbal directional commands so that my dog knows where he is going next, even if I am handling from behind; otherwise, he is going to slow and check in with me instead of confidently driving forward on the course. We have all seen dogs running courses that either stay even with their handler or constantly look back to see what the handler wants because she has failed to supply the next direction in time. Verbal commands are fun to teach and build the relationship between dog and owner so the teaching is time well spent. 3 2 1 4 Twirl Rop The commands I teach are as follows: · Back and Right: Turn left or right on the course as shown in Figure 1. · Go on: Drive straight on as shown in Figure 2. · Here: A sharp call-off command for obstacle discrimination as shown in Figure 3. · Rop and Twirl: Tightly circle, or wrap, the right or left wing as shown in Figure 4. Lots of handlers use their dog’s name on a course to imply a multitude of meanings. Sometimes the handler calls the dog’s name as she rounds a corner and the dog is supposed to carry on around the corner in the general direction of the handler and take the next jump on the way around. The next time the handler calls the dog’s name and maybe it’s supposed to mean don’t take the tunnel in front of him or pull through a gap between two jumps. The dog’s name actually tells the dog March 13 | Clean Run nothing and I never use my dog’s name on a course. My dog’s name doesn’t give him the specific information he needs to continue with the course in the correct direction—I would rather give him directional commands that have been taught and rewarded and which will enable him to succeed on a course. In Part 1 of this article, I am going to cover the commands Here, Rop, and Twirl. 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - March 2013

Clean Run - March 2013
Editorializing: Would You Treat a Dog Like That?
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Knowledge Equals Speed! Teaching Verbal Directional Commands, Part 1
Power Paws Drills: Gnarly Rears
Ultimate Instructors: What Makes a Really Good Instructor?
Can You Handle It?
Head-Turning Turns, Part 3
The 10-Minute Trainer
Busting the Myths: Set Goals? Or Just Enjoy the Moment?
Out Spot Out! Five Required Skills for Successful Distance Work
Living Room Agility: Front & Rear Crosses
Nutrition for the Canine Athlete, Part 2
Puppy Agility Games, Part 1
Training with the Stars: Greg Derrett
The Judge’s Debriefing
Foundation Jumping, Part 1

Clean Run - March 2013