Clean Run - August 2012 - (Page 28)

Start-line Positioning & Lead-outs By Dawn Weaver, photos by Graham Bryant In this article we are going to look at several examples of start lines and the best way to help your dog not only understand which direction he is going in right from the start, but also enable him to keep the bars up on the jumps. Lots of handlers blame their dog for knocking bars, but most of the time I can see what causes the bar to fall, and it isn’t usually the dog. It is more often due to handler positioning and either ill-timed turning cues or a complete lack of turning cues until the dog is over the bar. © WENDI PENCILLE/HORSEFEATHERS PHOTOGRAPHY Example 1 How would you handle the start line for the sequence shown in Figure 1? Some handlers would use a lead-out pivot (LOP) in this situation as illustrated in Figure 2. A LOP starts with the handler being static and giving just the first di1 1 S 2 1 S S S 2 2 rection to the dog (facing forward with the arm nearest the dog extended). As the dog takes off for jump #2 the handler rotates to cue the next direction. I watched this start on a course one day and the few people that did a LOP caused their dogs to stumble, often not recovering in time to do the subsequent long jump.The dog’s path was bad as you can see in Figure 2 because the turning information was given too late for the dog to react.The ensuing front cross was necessarily late because the handler had to wait for the dog to commit to jump #2. Also, the late front cross meant that the handler’s shoulders were initially facing in the wrong direction for obstacle #4. The dog’s new direction should be given before he takes #3, the long jump. Handlers think that by standing in a particular position in relation to the obstacles on the course, that this is a positional cue. But no dog, even trained in this way, reads the cue well. This is always apparent at the FCI World Agility Championships every year with the few handlers that choose to use LOPs. One would assume that dogs trained to that level would be proficient at their startline routine, which is what made me reClean Run | August 12 LOP 3 3 4 4 28

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - August 2012

Clean Run - August 2012
Editorializing: On Insanity
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
The Information Highway of Agility
Analyze This!
Footwork for Agility: Rear Crosses
Control Unleashed Solutions and Answers: The Bark Stops Here
Knowledge Equals Speed: Start-line Positioning & Lead-outs
Waiting for Your Turn in Agility Class
Agility Mind Gym: The Competition Mindset—Creating Power and Flow
Building Blocks: Weave Entries at Speed
From Hoof to Woof: What Riders Can Teach Handlers
Seesaw Training: The Bang Game and the Pre-Bang Game
But He’s Perfect at Home

Clean Run - August 2012