Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 79

Using body language, the handler should ideally start to cue her dog about which obstacle to take when the dog is at position D1 rather than waiting until the dog reaches position D2. Even though you are giving a cue for the #3 obstacle, the dog must remain committed to jump #2 as well. Your body language cues include the positioning of your head, hands, shoulders, hips, and feet. If the tunnel is the correct obstacle, the handler path is shown in dark blue. The dark blue path is quite different from the light blue handler path, which indicates that the A-frame is the correct obstacle. The dark blue path converges on the dog’s path and infringes on his space, which usually pushes the dog away from the handler. The arm closest to the dog is extended outward toward the tunnel, and the handler’s momentum clearly indicates the tunnel. The light blue path has the dog committed to jump #2, and then the handler pulls laterally away from the dog to effectively signal a change in direction. The hand and arm position in this case is low and more forward, almost as if guiding the dog to the A-frame. Some dogs have a preference for one obstacle over another regardless of your handling path. Generally this bias has to do with the rate of reinforcement given for that specific obstacle. When planning your handling strategy, consider this factor as well since you may need to adapt your path more dramatically for a dog with a preference. You might also work on rewarding correct choices in training with high-value rewards. Body language at the start line can aid your dog before he leaves by telling him which direction he’s going to go. In Figure 2, if white #3 is the correct tunnel entrance, handler H1 is in the correct position to indicate the entrance before the dog has even left the start line. She is standing lateral to the correct tunnel entrance with her back turned to the incorrect tunnel entrance. Her arm is extended to indicate the turn, and her hips and feet are facing the correct course direction. As the dog comes over jump #1, the handler is drawing a line with her arm and slowly rotating, so that by the time the dog is committed to jump #2 the handler has clearly indicated the correct tunnel entrance. Handler H2 is facing the black #3 tunnel entrance, which should then indicate to the dog that he is to continue in a straight line after jump #2 toward that tunnel entrance. If the chute is the first obstacle on course, the position you take, (facing the dog or facing another direction, or how close or how far 79 Using Silent Running to Improve Body Language © CLEAN RUN By Cindy Brick Most of us have witnessed a run where the handler shouted out the incorrect obstacle name, but the dog followed the handler’s motion cues and took the correct obstacle, despite being verbally told to do otherwise. Based on what I’ve learned through teaching and training, the best advice I can give is that your motion and body language are your strongest cues to direct your dog around the course. It is what dogs understand best. Remember this when developing a plan for how to handle your dog. Being consistent in your body language cues helps the dog know what you are going to do. He does not have to guess each time whether the cue always means the same thing. Assessing the Best Use of Body Language The key to assessing the best use of body language and cues is to walk the dog’s path first when walking a course. This simple task allows you to view all your dog will see from his perspective. Look around and see what he will view first; 3 find all the other lovely options that have been D2 set within his view. 2 These choices may not 3 be quite as apparent if D1 you are only walking the handler’s path. The next step is to assess whether the jump wing placement or any other 1 type of potential handler 1 restriction will affect your handling path. A typical discrimination challenge usually has the dog headed toward the incorrect obstacle. Figure 1 shows an example of an A-frame/tunnel discrimination. December 08 | Clean Run

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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