Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 48

simple one-jump exercises. Go to a camp or seminar, or buy a good handling DVD (I recommend anything by Greg Derrett). Your dog will thank you with improved reliability when he finally sees some consistency in your execution. Start-line Criteria Next look at the criteria you have established for your dog. Does he understand the boundaries of holding position at the start line and waiting for a release from you? Or are you constantly backing or sprinting away trying to hold your dog in position long enough for you to get some sort of lead-out? Does your dog paddle his paws or scooch his butt forward, inching ever closer to or around the first jump? If this is your dog, you will likely be entering the ring with the expectation of failure since your history with this dog predicts that outcome. Your expectation of failure will transfer to your dog, creating even more anxiety for him. My recently released DVD Crate Games can give you and your dog the skills to create brilliance in your dog’s understanding of control positions. Competency The third area to evaluate is your dog’s independent obstacle performance. Have you built value for each obstacle without you in the picture? Will your dog, with one cue, leave you, run 20' away, and negotiate his way through a curved tunnel? If so, try doing the same on a long jump, seesaw, dogwalk, A-frame, and a set of 12 weave poles. Now do it with you 20' directly behind the obstacle or 20' laterally away. If your dog struggles with any of these exercises, it could be that your body language has been built into his understanding of each skill. Without you in a particular spot, his understanding is weakened; thus his confidence is lost, causing the anxiety you are seeing. Anthony Robbins describes the feeling of fear as your body questioning if you (and your dog) are prepared for what you are about to undertake. Confidence comes from doing the groundwork so you can answer yourself assuredly, “Yes, we are well-prepared.” General Warm-up Routine Once you have eliminated the previous three possible causes of your dog’s undesirable start-line antics you can build a start-line routine that is unique for each dog that you run.The first part of such a routine is a general warm-up that will be more or less the same for all dogs. My own personal start-line ritual starts the same for all my dogs. This routine is done anytime I do agility. That means even if I am just working my dog for three minutes at home the warm-up for the dog stays the same. At the trial, approximately 20 dogs before our turn (roughly 20-25 minutes), I doublecheck at the gate to be certain no dogs ahead of mine have scratched so I know about how long I have before I am needed ringside. I start the stopwatch on my wristwatch and then get my dog out of his crate. I allow him to relieve himself before I get him moving at a fast trot for five minutes (longer in cool weather, less if it is extremely hot) to warm up his muscles. I see many competitors trying to stretch their dogs before a run, and while the thought is a good one, any fitness expert will tell you that stretching cold muscles is a no-no; so don’t skip the five-minute warm-up first. If it is hot and sunny try to do this in the shade so you don’t wear the dog out. Next I head back to the crating area for the dog’s warm-up massage/stretch, stimulating blood flow to all extremities. This takes about 10 minutes, more or less, depending on the dog. In a perfect world I take advantage of one of the many talented massage experts you can find at agility trials today to work on my dogs while I do my own warm-up. But if this isn’t practical or possible, after I massage my dog I put him in an ex-pen while I warm up with some dynamic exercises, which takes approximately five minutes (sadly my routine lacks a warm-up massage for me). I then go back and check at the ring to see how many dogs before my run. By this time I usually have 5-10 dogs before we are due in. I get my dog out again, rub down his muscles one last time, and we head to the warm-up jump. It is here that the dog’s individually tailored warm-up will begin. I choose the warm-up games based on the dog’s drive and what is required to bring him into the middle of the arousal curve, which will allow the dog to perform at his peak. Before your next practice session at home, design a warm-up plan for both you and your dog. Rehearse this routine each and every time you work your dog at home or in class. Practice your routine many times before you try it at a trial. Include your plans for the use of the warm-up jump. In the next article, I will outline games that can be used by every dog and handler team, regardless of the dog’s motivational extremes. You can build these games into a ringside routine tailored to the individual needs of each dog. D Every dog Susan Garrett has ever owned has become a national champion. In total her dogs have won two World Championships and 15 National Championships (11 in the U.S. and 4 in Canada) at six different jump heights. She is a highly respected dog trainer, seminar presenter, and writer. Susan shares her life with John Blenkey and their five dogs in Alberton, Ontario, Canada. Her award-winning books and videos can be purchased both through Clean Run (www.cleanrun.com) and her website at www.clickerdogs.com. 48 Clean Run | April 08
http://www.cleanrun.com http://www.clickerdogs.com

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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