Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 32

Kim Collins Go On cue are mandatory for someone who is slower than the dog. One thing to remember about Go On is either to already be stopped when you send the dog ahead, like on a gamble line, or to still be moving forward. If you decelerate and then say Go On, your body cue of slowing down will confuse your dog and he will naturally start to slow down with you. So, getting the dog driving forward again afterward can be a problem. I have a verbal cue, Away, for lateral distance, meaning “move away from the handler and take the farthest obstacle,” and one for turning away from me into a tunnel after a contact. I use an arm for the lateral Away cue but use only the verbal cue Out for turning away from me into a tunnel. These two commands depend on the dog’s knowing what side of him I am on, but they can be cued from a long distance. The other thing you should train are patterns. These would include pinwheels, 180s, 270s, and serpentines. The pinwheel is especially important since there are many versions of pinwheels that aren’t just three jumps. Any three pieces of equipment in that shape can be handled by sending out to the middle piece while the handler moves to get in position. The dog should be taught to finish all three obstacles on his own and come back to the handler. Learn to look at courses as multiple patterns. Once you trust your dog on all the equipment and you have your Go On and your directional cues, you can break the course down into pieces. When the dog gains confidence and understands his part in the team, he will get faster at reading your distance cues and you will find you have more time than you think. I have found all these tools allow me more flexibility as a handler who cannot outrun her dog! Kim, owner of Pawsitive Steps Canine Sports Centre in British Columbia and a Masters AAC Judge, has been involved in agility for 12 years. She has won three AAC Championships and one USDAA National Championship, plus nine AAC Regional Championships with three different dogs. Kim was a member of the Canadian IFCS Team in 2004 with two of her dogs. Contact her via www.pawsitivesteps.ca. The great thing about this sport is that all sizes and shapes of dogs and people can enjoy it. If people in wheelchairs or those who walk with a cane can compete with their dog, anyone can! I run dogs that are much faster than I am (many sports injuries later) and I try to be aware of the places I will hold them back due to my lack of speed. I train to improve those weaknesses. My dogs can get around the course faster than I will ever be able to run, so my job is to be in the “important” places. I run as much as possible but there are times when I don’t have a hope of catching them and they are better off working at their own speed. The first thing your dog needs to learn is independent obstacle performance skills. Make sure your contacts and weave poles are well-trained. You don’t want to have to babysit or work those obstacles. The dog needs to do those obstacles with as much speed as he can and do them without you, so you can get into better positions on course. I do not do running contacts with my dogs because I am not fast enough to make the running contact an advantage. The second skill you will need is directional commands your dog obeys on verbal cues alone. All my directional commands are on a verbal cue, requiring no hand or physical cue from me. Right and Left and a good Moe Strenfel If a dog is traveling as fast as he possibly can, few if any, handlers can keep up so don’t put yourself down if you aren’t an Olympic sprinter! It is true that an athletic person can be right alongside the dog to block a contact or force a weave entry but you can train your dog to handle these skills on his own. You can also learn to handle the course “smarter” than those who can just run next to the dog. A highly trained dog can work a sequence alone, allowing you to move away to take the inside track. Taking an inside path allows you to get ahead since you are traveling a distance that is much shorter than your dog travels on the actual course. Planning your own route allows you to then meet your dog at a critical place on course where your dog will need your help. So, yes, you can occasionally make those front crosses because you took the short cut. Work at becoming a better operant trainer because that will make your team superior to one that relies solely on the human member being an athlete. So what skills does your team need if you aren’t an Olympic-class runner? Moe, who teaches using operant conditioning for both handler and dog, instructs at Power Paws Agility in San Jose, California. She can be contacted for seminars, lectures, or video consultation at RxBehave@comcast.net. Gradually move the jump 3 • Lateral distance: For all obstacles, not just jumps. A good figure is to be able to get off the dog’s line at least 18' to 20', maybe more if your particular team needs it. • Jump work: Independent 180s, 270s, and pinwheels so you do not have to baby-sit (stay close to) these types of sequences. • Lead-outs: Start ahead and you can more than likely stay ahead. Can you do three-, four-, or even five-jump lead-outs with multiple arm changes to indicate course path? • Send or go on: Will your dog send in a straight line away from you at least 20'? Will your dog do the same behavior with you at a 20' lateral distance as well? • Contacts and weaves: Will your dog perform your equipment criteria with you at a lateral distance? With you ahead? With you behind? Can your dog get on a contact without your having to escort him? Can he find a weave entry and exit on his own? • Directional cues: Does your dog truly understand verbal cues to change direction regardless of what your physical position may be telling him? R R 2 1 Dog must have a solid, motivational stay before obstacles are used; that is, the dog holds position until the handler releases him and then bursts forward with speed. Handler stands at jump #3, which is gradually moved laterally away from the dog’s line. Reinforcement is thrown after jump #2, gradually moving the delivery position until the dog arcs toward jump #3. Teach a lateral lead-out I would be remiss if I did not bring up the fact that we all can learn to physically run more efficiently and faster with proper coaching. It may be very worthwhile to invest in a few lessons with a personal running coach to work on your own mechanics. This should be done without the presence of your dog so you can work exclusively on your own skills. D Brenna Fender is a freelance writer with an undergraduate degree in mass communications and a masters degree in elementary education. She lives with her husband, two young children, a Vizsla, a Whippet, and a cat. The dogs are collectively titled in agility, obedience, conformation, hunting, rally, and lure coursing. The cat, husband, and children are lacking in this regard. Contact Brenna at BrennaFender@gmail.com. 32 Clean Run | April 08
http://www.pawsitivesteps.ca

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

Clean Run Magazine - March 2008
Contents
Editorializing: Dog Friends Are the Best Friends
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Starting Your Pup Off on the “Right” Foot for Jumping
Pre-Agility Skills: Laying the Foundation, Part 2
Handling Your Dog in Awesome Style: Direction Cues
Trainer’s Forum
Tent Ownership Dos and Don’ts
Foundation Fundamentals: Teaching Agility Cues
Skill of the Month
Say Yes to the Learning Curve: Starting as a Team, Part 1
Classes Gone Wild
Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Powering Up the Rear Legs
Spy Kids: Rules for Access and Off-Leash Control
When Pigs Fly: How to Use Your Dog’s Natural Behaviors to Train Him
Shelter Champs: Reno
The Art of Electronic Timing
Power Paws Patterns: Number Four
Jump Down Syndrome Traumatic fragmented Medial
Conquering Ring Nerves: Want to Remember the Course? Focus!
In Cider
Agility Organization Update
Letter to the Editor
Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Clean Run Magazine - March 2008
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 2
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Contents
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 4
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Editorializing: Dog Friends Are the Best Friends
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 9
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 10
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 11
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 12
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 13
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Starting Your Pup Off on the “Right” Foot for Jumping
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 15
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 16
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 17
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Pre-Agility Skills: Laying the Foundation, Part 2
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 19
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 20
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 21
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 22
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Handling Your Dog in Awesome Style: Direction Cues
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 24
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 25
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 26
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 27
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 28
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 29
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Trainer’s Forum
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 31
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 32
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 33
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Tent Ownership Dos and Don’ts
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 35
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 36
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 37
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Foundation Fundamentals: Teaching Agility Cues
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 39
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 40
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 41
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Skill of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 43
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 44
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Say Yes to the Learning Curve: Starting as a Team, Part 1
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 46
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 47
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 48
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 49
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Classes Gone Wild
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 51
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 52
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Powering Up the Rear Legs
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Spy Kids: Rules for Access and Off-Leash Control
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 55
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 56
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 57
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 58
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - When Pigs Fly: How to Use Your Dog’s Natural Behaviors to Train Him
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 60
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 61
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 62
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 63
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 64
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Shelter Champs: Reno
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 66
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 67
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - The Art of Electronic Timing
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 69
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 70
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 71
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 72
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Power Paws Patterns: Number Four
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 74
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 75
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Jump Down Syndrome Traumatic fragmented Medial
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 77
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 78
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 79
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Conquering Ring Nerves: Want to Remember the Course? Focus!
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 81
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 82
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - In Cider
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 84
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 85
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 86
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Agility Organization Update
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 88
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 89
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 91
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 92
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