Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 19

©Craig Lizotte/CL PhotograPhy THINK By Rachel Tabor Flatley, photos by Clean Run except where noted Outside THE Box aNd THE RINg [ Practicing Behaviors That Will Enhance Your Run With a little forethought and planning, it’s possible to warm your dog up in a manner that increases the likelihood of desirable behaviors being repeated in your upcoming run. Some handlers warm up their dogs with a game of Frisbee. In general, when dogs retrieve a Frisbee, they run out, grab it, and make a wide turn to set themselves on a path back to you. If the course you will be running is made up of tight turns, don’t rehearse wide turns beforehand. Choose a different type of warm-up or throw the Frisbee into a corner so the dog cannot turn wide on his return path. On the other hand, if you need to use sending skills in the upcoming run, then sending the dog ahead and throwing the Frisbee as a reward for making the choice to work ahead of you is a good option for a warm-up. If you use the practice jump as part of your warmup routine, how do you and your dog approach the practice-jump area? Is your dog required to walk nicely at your side, or does your dog lead you? Both styles of arriving at the practice jump (or the ring, for that matter) might be completely legitimate for the same dog at different times. For example, if I want my dog to work away from me on a course I might choose to allow my dog to walk ahead of me on the way to the practice jump. Conversely, if we are about to run a course that requires my dog to focus quite a bit on me as I direct him through an intricate sequence, he won’t be taking me to the practice jump. I’ll want my dog’s focus on me. We’ll examine the dog’s mindset later in this article, but since we are discussing methods for approaching the equipment, you should also consider your dog’s personality type so you can understand how the way you approach the practice jump or you enter the ring influences the dog’s mindset. A dog that likes to take charge, work away, or has problems with self-control (that may manifest in broken start-line stays or missed contacts) should not find himself in front of his handler on the way to the practice jump or the ring. Conversely, try never to discourage a shy dog, or one with less motivation, from dragging you toward the equipment. ] You have all heard the saying, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Well, this could not be further from the truth in agility competitions. What you do (or don’t do) outside the ring enters the ring with you. I am not referring to skills training or to the way the quality of the relationship you have with your dog will affect your run. Instead, I want to bring to your attention the ways in which the skills and behaviors we rehearse (intentionally or unintentionally) the day of the trial affect our performance. Not only do we have the ability to rehearse skills that will help or hurt our efforts in an upcoming run, but we can also influence our dog’s mindset in ways that can complement or undermine our efforts. Consider some of the choices you make in both your warm-up routine and in your overall day-of-the-show conduct. This team needs sending skills in their upcoming run so the handler allows the dog to approach the practice jump with some independence. Warm-up routines Let’s take a look at your warm-up routine first. Thankfully agility has evolved and the sport is well beyond the days when handlers would take the dog out of his crate, pop him over a practice jump or two, and then head into the ring. We know the importance of getting ourselves and our dogs moving, stretched, and perhaps even massaged before a run. But what about the remainder of that warm-up routine? Have you put enough thought into which warm-up exercises complement the type of course you are about to run? Have you considered how that warm-up routine should be modified to optimize your performance in subsequent runs? And, do you warm up your dog’s frame of mind? Two elements of a good warm-up routine are often overlooked: practicing behaviors that will enhance, not undermine, your efforts in the run; and setting the proper tone for your run. December 08 | Clean Run In particular, the team needs a lateral send, so the handler uses the barrier around the practice jump to her advantage. She rehearses the behavior needed on the course by sending her dog over the practice jump. 19

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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