Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 12

Trainer’s Forum By Brenna Fender I’ve been competing for about a year, but I’m having some difficulty with my dog. He keeps crossing behind me on course, particularly when he’s coming out of a tunnel. How can I change this behavior? Anne Andrle You don’t say what breed of dog you have, but many herding breeds do this instinctively. Watch herding dogs in action and you will see them crisscross behind their stock, moving them forward, and crossing again to come up around the stock to get them to turn a different direction. This behavior can be a challenge to overcome when running a herding breed in agility, because the dog must be taught to never cross either behind or in front of you (changing from one side of you to the other) unless you either ask the dog to do so, or your handling indicates that the dog should do so (perhaps inadvertently). First, I would recommend teaching the dog to come to the side of your body you indicate (use your right hand for the right side and left hand for the left side). If you put a jump bar on the ground and stand over it with one foot on each side and parallel to the bar, the bar shows the midline of your body. Now imagine that the jump bar extends infinitely in front of and behind you. Work on bringing your dog into heel position with your right hand when he is anywhere on the right side of the bar. Likewise, train so that he is comfortable coming to your left side when he is located anywhere on the left side of this imaginary line. I recommend using Linda Mecklenburg’s recall-to-heel exercises, which train the Anne is a bronze medalist and 2008 IFCS/USDAA World Team Member with her Border Collie, MACH ADCH Ski. She instructs all levels of agility and teaches seminars throughout New England. Contact her through www.xtremeagility.com. dog to understand coming to heel position on the side indicated. You should also work to teach the dog to stay in roughly “heel position” (on your right as well as your left side) while you jog slowly in a figure-eight pattern. The dog should stay on the side you started him on until you tell him to do otherwise. When you progress to actually handling sequences, either at home or at shows, I advise you to “stick to your guns” by maintaining eye contact with your dog. Try not to move forward until you clearly see your dog commit to coming to the correct side. If you have appropriately indicated the correct side in a timely fashion and your dog chooses to slip behind you, you should • Rotate toward him as he is trying to go behind you • Continue to make eye contact • Say his name • Draw attention to your indicated hand You might break down a particularly problematic sequence, take some speed out of it, and reward the dog with a cookie from the hand on the correct side when he comes to the appropriate side. Then add obstacles beforehand, while increasing the speed and the possibility of error, and reward when the dog gets it right. Good luck! Bonnie Calhoun McDonald Bonnie judges AKC, USDAA, and UKC agility, WWKC obedience, and WWKC rally. She is the chief trainer at Bonjon Training School, LLC, in Tampa, Florida, which she founded in 1992. Bonnie has earned MACHs, UDs, HXs, Schutzhund titles, and more, with GSDs, Mals, and Shelties. Visit Bonnie’s website at www.BonjonTrainingSchool.com. The behavior you describe is more common than you think. It seems that many green dogs go through this stage, even with skilled handlers and trainers. The reason could also be a lack of connection with the handler, but often it is simply an overly exuberant dog, anxious to go take whatever he thinks should be next. Perhaps he just loves tunnels! Regardless of the reasons, you are looking for the solution. The connection between 12 you and your dog needs to be strengthened. You probably will need to pay greater attention to the non-verbal signals you are giving your dog (body language, or lack of body language). Also, many handlers are simply “different” when competing (at home, calm and in control versus nervous, talking-too-much-in-a-different-pitch freaks at trials). This one factor can make your dog behave differently (because he wonders who you are and what you did with his handler). Mental management work (check out Lanny Bassham’s system) can help on your end. My son and I compete a great deal and have both competed in Europe. Crosses (front, rear, and blind—yes, blind) are all tools we use when running our dogs and tools we have witnessed in use by top European handlers. To be effective, these tools must be understood by both the dog and the handler. All our crosses have Clean Run | December 08
http://www.xtremeagility.com http://www.BonjonTrainingSchool.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run Magazine - December 2008

Clean Run Magazine - December 2008
Think Outside the Box (and the Ring)
Editorializing: Just One More Run
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Trainer’s Forum
Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Treadmill Walking
Handling Your Dog in Awesome Style, Part 9: Common Sequences
Agility Class Etiquette
K9 Kudos: Seeing Spots
Foundation Fundamentals: Flatwork Skills Wrap-up
So You Want to Raise an Agility Star
Canine Health Care: FAQs
Conquering Ring Nerves: Feeling Overwhelmed by Big Goals?
Retraining Agility Skills
Skill of the Month
Walking the Course…Backward?
Agility Organization Update
Using Silent Running to Improve Body Language
Letter to the Editor
Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Clean Run Magazine - December 2008
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 2
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 3
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 4
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Editorializing: Just One More Run
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 9
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 10
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 11
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Trainer’s Forum
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 13
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 14
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 15
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Treadmill Walking
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 17
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 18
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 19
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 20
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 21
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Handling Your Dog in Awesome Style, Part 9: Common Sequences
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 23
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 24
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 25
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 26
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 27
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 28
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 29
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 30
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Agility Class Etiquette
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 32
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 33
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 34
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 35
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 36
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 37
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 38
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 39
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 40
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 41
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - K9 Kudos: Seeing Spots
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 43
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 44
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Foundation Fundamentals: Flatwork Skills Wrap-up
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 46
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 47
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 48
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 49
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 50
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 51
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - So You Want to Raise an Agility Star
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 53
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 54
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 55
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 56
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Canine Health Care: FAQs
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 58
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Conquering Ring Nerves: Feeling Overwhelmed by Big Goals?
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 60
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 61
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 62
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 63
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 64
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Retraining Agility Skills
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 66
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 67
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Skill of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 69
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 70
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 71
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Walking the Course…Backward?
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 73
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 74
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Agility Organization Update
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 76
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 77
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 78
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Using Silent Running to Improve Body Language
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 80
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 81
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 83
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 84
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