Building Skills Around the Tunnel
By Rachel Sanders For this month’s “Building Blocks” the focus is on the tunnel. When rewarding my dog for taking a tunnel, I only reward my dog if he is in a full run. If I am running away from the exit his criteria is to chase and pass me. I always reward in the direction I want to go next.
Over the last several years my own understanding of motion has been expanded and refined, and thanks must go to Linda Mecklenburg for sharing her insight into how easily our dogs read motion and how to best incorporate it into our handling.
Cueing Direction Out of the Tunnel
These exercises use a straight tunnel. The goal is to cue your dog’s direction at the exit of the tunnel as he enters the tunnel.
Exercise 1 – Cueing straight ahead. Sit your dog in front of the tunnel and lead out
the side. Once your dog enters the tunnel run forward. If you are still moving when your dog exits the tunnel then reward your dog by throwing your toy forward. If you are stationary as your dog exits the tunnel then reward your dog at your side.
Exercise 3 – Cueing a turn with a rear
past the opening. As you continue to move forward, release your dog to the tunnel. Continue forward until your dog exits the tunnel and throw your reward forward. out to the tunnel opening. As you release your dog to the tunnel step laterally to
Exercise 2 – Cueing a left or right turn. Sit your dog in front of the tunnel and lead
cross. Sit your dog in front of the tunnel and stand slightly to the side. Release your dog and move laterally toward your dog and execute a rear cross as
Lead out and release while still in forward motion. Continue to move forward as you reward your dog by throwing a toy forward.
Move laterally to the left after releasing the dog to the tunnel but before the dog enters the tunnel. Reward the dog in the direction of the turn.
As you send your dog into the tunnel move laterally toward your dog. As he enters the tunnel perform a rear cross.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - June 2012