Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 45

TO THE LEARNING CURVE Part 1 © CLEAN RUN Starting as a Team BY SUSAN GARRETT The outcome of any agility run is often determined in the first few seconds when a competitor and her dog enter the ring, long before the dog ever takes his first obstacle. Do they enter as a team? Are they mentally connected? Is the dog task-focused and confident or distracted, overstimulated, or overwhelmed? Is the handler striding in with a strength of purpose, or frazzled and uncertain of what to expect from the dog? Entering the ring with confidence is a rehearsed skill, just like a dog hitting a tough weave entry. The more successful start-line rehearsals you experience, the more you can take your dog’s responses for granted and assertively stride to the line, while thinking only of executing your handler plan. It is important to have a routine—a series of games you can call on when needed to focus your dog’s attention on the job at hand. It all comes back to value. Does the dog see any value in the game of agility or is he dutifully going through the motions because you want him to? Is the value for the dog in running agility with you as his teammate or has the reinforcement of the game lost its relationship to you and grown into an act of self-gratification where the dog just goes once the leash is removed? In my article in CR March 2006, “But It’s Not a Border Collie,” I outlined the importance of acknowledging where your dog’s state of arousal is before attempting April 08 | Clean Run to engage him in any training. Arousal state is the key to start-line success. A dog that enters the ring overaroused is too stimulated by the environment to focus on his work. This dog’s attention may bounce from obsessing on the movements of a team at the warm-up jump, to kids running leashes, to the dog finishing his run in the ring. He may bark, spin, and maniacally act up as he drags his owner into the ring when it is his turn. Rarely will this dog wait at the start line or on contact obstacles, and all this mayhem seldom results in a clean run. At the other end of the spectrum is the dog that is underaroused. This dog lacks stimulation for his work; therefore, he is disturbed by insignificant things in his surroundings. He may find the environment overwhelming and react to the stress by freezing in place, or leaving his owner, possibly sniffing or leaving the ring to seek the comfort of another person. Peak performances from your dog (or you) are possible only 45

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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