Clean Run - June 2012 - 31

instance the dog is offering them calming signals. There are many calming signals but moving slowly and freezing are two of them. So the handler is all excited and the dog is going slowly trying to tell them to “calm down— you are worrying me.” You need to get a balance and there is a difference between being motivational and being frantic. The Competition Ring In my experience handlers change a lot between training and competing although they are usually unaware that they do so. Handlers’ commands become louder and more urgent, thus worrying the dog in that environment. Not only for that particular trial, but for future ones. If you see your dog heading for an off-course obstacle do you suddenly shout at your dog? Yet you must have just cued that off-course so why should your dog be shouted at? Does your Q really mean that much to you that you would shout at your best friend? Don’t let any of your commands make you sound cross with your dog. Handlers are often positive in training but at a trial there is a heightened anticipation and the added anxiety and stress of their peers watching which, if you allow it, will change your relationship with your dog. Handlers should “trial like you train and train like you trial.” Handlers should always reward their dog on completion of a course at a trial whether or not your dog makes it around the course. These rewards help to keep and improve the dog’s drive at subsequent shows. If the dog isn’t rewarded this shuts down or slows the dog in the future and he won’t try as hard for you subsequently. Why would you want to lose your dog’s drive and love of the game? Imagine never being paid to go to work! Is your dog now slower at a trial than at training? Have you ever shouted at him or not instantly rewarded him after a run? I am surprised to still see a culture of blame at trials. Your dog will always offer you what he understands at his current level of training so don’t blame the dog in an attempt to make yourself look better. Recently at trials I have seen things that should never happen. For example, dogs being carried out of the ring after knocking a bar or taking an off-course. Not only is the dog not going to

make the connection between what has happened and being carried out, but it is also going to worry him for the future. I also saw dogs run toward their lead at the finish and pick it up only for the handler to run up and snatch it from their mouth saying “No, you are not going to have a party after hitting that bar.” Yeah, the dog is really going to make that connection when the knocked bar was halfway round the course! In my experience most knocked bars are down due to late handling maneuvers or late information about the dog’s next direction. Be determined, as I am, to be aware when it is the handling and training that is at fault and to accept the blame. A dog gives you unconditional love which never varies, no matter how many handling mistakes you have just made in the ring. I believe this should be a two-way street and if my dog makes a mistake in the ring, or in training, my love is equally unconditional and my treatment of him does not change. Ultimately, don’t worry about the people watching you run at a trial. In my opinion they will remember you far more for how you treat your dog than whether it was a clean run or not. D

Dawn Weaver has been an agility trainer for over 25 years. She is a 7-time FCI World Team member, and a 3-time IFCS World Team member. She has won many gold medals with several dogs and has won the coveted 2011 Crufts in the large category with her dog Ag Ch It’s Easy with a Beezy (a Beardie-Border Collie cross). Dawn has won every major British final in recent years. Her Poodle Ag Ch Piquant Painted Sunshine has the most championship tickets of any dog in Britain, currently having 15. She is also the only dog to have won Olympia four years running and all the major Crufts finals. Ag Ch Tonring Just a Puzzle is the only Papillon in Britain ever to have become an agility champion and is the 2011 Crufts Singles winner. Dawn is the author of the training manual in the U.K., Knowledge Equals Speed! She also offers online handling and contacts video instruction via www.dawnweaveragility.com. To contact Dawn directly, send email to info@dawnweaveragility.com.

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Clean Run - June 2012

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

Clean Run - June 2012
Contents
Editorializing: The Other Bank Account
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility
Backyard Dogs
Awesome Paws Drills: Skills Checklist, Part 3
On the Road Again: Safety Measures for Driving with Your Dog
Challenges for Rising Stars
Proofing Your Dog’s Weave Pole Performance
Knowledge Equals Speed! Positive Training Routines
Analyze This!
Perfecting Nutrition for Performance Dogs
Why Dogs Sniff and What to Do About It
Building Blocks: Building Skills Around the Tunnel
From Hoof to Woof: What Riders Can Teach Handlers
New & Common Therapies for Treating Injuries in the Canine Athlete
Agility Mind Gym: Visualization
Control Unleashed Solutions and Answers: Shy & Overwhelmed
Clean Run - June 2012 - Clean Run - June 2012
Clean Run - June 2012 - 2
Clean Run - June 2012 - Contents
Clean Run - June 2012 - 4
Clean Run - June 2012 - Editorializing: The Other Bank Account
Clean Run - June 2012 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run - June 2012 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility
Clean Run - June 2012 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run - June 2012 - 9
Clean Run - June 2012 - Awesome Paws Drills: Skills Checklist, Part 3
Clean Run - June 2012 - 11
Clean Run - June 2012 - 12
Clean Run - June 2012 - On the Road Again: Safety Measures for Driving with Your Dog
Clean Run - June 2012 - 14
Clean Run - June 2012 - 15
Clean Run - June 2012 - 16
Clean Run - June 2012 - 17
Clean Run - June 2012 - Challenges for Rising Stars
Clean Run - June 2012 - 19
Clean Run - June 2012 - 20
Clean Run - June 2012 - Proofing Your Dog’s Weave Pole Performance
Clean Run - June 2012 - 22
Clean Run - June 2012 - 23
Clean Run - June 2012 - 24
Clean Run - June 2012 - 25
Clean Run - June 2012 - 26
Clean Run - June 2012 - 27
Clean Run - June 2012 - Knowledge Equals Speed! Positive Training Routines
Clean Run - June 2012 - 29
Clean Run - June 2012 - 30
Clean Run - June 2012 - 31
Clean Run - June 2012 - Analyze This!
Clean Run - June 2012 - 33
Clean Run - June 2012 - 34
Clean Run - June 2012 - 35
Clean Run - June 2012 - 36
Clean Run - June 2012 - 37
Clean Run - June 2012 - 38
Clean Run - June 2012 - 39
Clean Run - June 2012 - Perfecting Nutrition for Performance Dogs
Clean Run - June 2012 - 41
Clean Run - June 2012 - 42
Clean Run - June 2012 - 43
Clean Run - June 2012 - Why Dogs Sniff and What to Do About It
Clean Run - June 2012 - 45
Clean Run - June 2012 - 46
Clean Run - June 2012 - 47
Clean Run - June 2012 - 48
Clean Run - June 2012 - 49
Clean Run - June 2012 - 50
Clean Run - June 2012 - Building Blocks: Building Skills Around the Tunnel
Clean Run - June 2012 - 52
Clean Run - June 2012 - 53
Clean Run - June 2012 - 54
Clean Run - June 2012 - From Hoof to Woof: What Riders Can Teach Handlers
Clean Run - June 2012 - New & Common Therapies for Treating Injuries in the Canine Athlete
Clean Run - June 2012 - 57
Clean Run - June 2012 - 58
Clean Run - June 2012 - Agility Mind Gym: Visualization
Clean Run - June 2012 - 60
Clean Run - June 2012 - 61
Clean Run - June 2012 - Control Unleashed Solutions and Answers: Shy & Overwhelmed
Clean Run - June 2012 - 63
Clean Run - June 2012 - 64
Clean Run - June 2012 - 65
Clean Run - June 2012 - 66
Clean Run - June 2012 - 67
Clean Run - June 2012 - 68
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