Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 51

The Odd Couple First impressions can be deceiving, but some handler-dog teams give you a sinking feeling before the first class starts, such as the handler dragged to the gate by a dog that is twice her size or the clumsy handler with feet that are twice as big as the dog. But what about the less obvious mismatches? Don’t forget the soft handler with the pushy, take-charge dog and the super social human with the canine curmudgeon (or vice versa). Good ground rules can help keep these extreme teams from taking over the class, but what do you do to help them learn agility? The key to success is making sure that handlers are aware of the challenges posed by their particular team, but do not feel overwhelmed by them. Be sure to point out these challenges in a tactful way; no team is incapable of learning agility, some teams just need different skills. Trainer Speak: Find something about the relationship that can be rewarded. Consider reducing criteria (remedial basic training). The Genius Students who know as much as you (or more) are not always a problem in class; their point of view can be helpful. The best way to keep your A+ handlers from becoming disruptive handlers is to seek their advice outside of class. This has the enormous benefit of allowing those handlers to focus on why they took the class—working with their dog. How do you handle those advanced trainers whose training style or methods are completely different from your own or even contrary to your or your organization’s training philosophy? We can hope they are also aware of the difference in training styles and have fully trained their dog outside of class. Integrating dramatically different training methods in competition preparation classes is less challenging. If this were always the case, then they’d not be part of our wild class. The best way to handle these students is through clear ground rules Trainer Speak: at the beginning of Understand the the class, preferstudent’s reason ably given to the for taking the students in writing. If you look across class. Clearly the eager faces on articulating that first night of criteria and a beginner class goals will and see a genius in eliminate the your midst, then you perception that may want to spend you need help. a little time in your briefing reminding everyone not to judge their team’s progress by comparing themselves to other teams. If you suspect they may be challenging students to have in your class, then do not spend time dwelling on their accomplishments. Remember you are in charge. If you forget, then you can’t expect your students to remember. 51 Three’s A Crowd The third wheel in the dog-handler team could be the parent of a junior, the other partner in a married couple, or the family who wants to train their dog together. Your challenge is to take the human mishmash you are presented with and create a training system that works. Explain to the group that your goal is to make it easier for the dog to learn and that he needs to know who he should focus on while working. A solution may be as simple as suggesting a parent or loved one wait outside the training area until class is over. Most parents are comfortable with this arrangement from other sports and are happy to oblige, but this may be less acceptable to the couple or family, particularly if two juniors intend to train the same dog. If the dog is to be team-taught then you need to be clear from the beginning that each exercise is to be done by one handler. Handlers can trade off during breaks, but insist that the dog has the same handler throughout a given exercise. If one of the handlers is disruptive when not acting as the lead trainer, then encourage that handler to be the assistant trainer. This person holds the leash and sets bars for the dog, but is not actively involved in training. Trainer Speak: Isolate behavior to be trained by limiting the number of people working the dog at a specific time. The Klutz Agility at its finest is a smooth, fast-paced dance, a flow of communication between handler and dog performed at speeds that might get you ticketed in a school zone. You may have reached this point with your teammate, but when you teach you need to remember what it was like when you started. For some of our students, agility may be the first athletic activity they have ever tried. Mandatory gym class was not necessarily a part of everyone’s school experience. The combination of a confused and uncoordinated handler with a young and inexperienced dog can be extremely frustrating for all involved. Performing the footwork and body movements of the exercise without Trainer Speak: the dog until the handler is able to do them cleanly is a must. Think puppy! Design Particularly in beginner classes, the entire class will benefit exercises that teach agility from practicing handling moves without the dog. If the dog foundation skills and build in any team is green and your goal is to teach a handling coordination, without move, consider providing a trained loaner dog, so handlers risking mental burnout or can see an immediate benefit from improving their handling. physical injury. This is also a useful tip when you aren’t sure if a particular team is suffering from a handler or a dog problem. April 08 | Clean Run

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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