Clean Run - July 2012 - (Page 55)

7A 7B © Dianne Spring View of handler next to jump taken from small dog height and large dog height. Especially when working in close quarters, small dogs are more likely to focus on the handler’s feet. prepare for the wrap is given early, the handler of either size dog risks pulling the dog off the jump. Field of Vision As handlers, it’s our job to direct our dog through the course. We run and turn with our feet and legs, and use our shoulders, arms, and hands to signal the direction we want the dog to go. A dog running at full speed is taking in these visual cues while negotiating obstacles along the way. It seems likely that dogs of different size focus on different parts of the handler’s body, especially when working in close quarters. Figure 7 illustrates this point with a camera view of a handler standing next to a jump. The difference in the two photos is simply the height of the camera. Figure 7a is taken at a small dog head height and normal takeoff distance for a small dog, while Figure 7b is taken at a large dog head height and normal takeoff distance for a large dog. These photos may only approximate what the dog is seeing, but they illustrate the point that small dogs probably don’t see much above the handler’s knees, especially when working close to the handler. Handlers of small dogs, therefore, need to be much more aware of where their feet are pointing. For example, when handling tight turning sequences, small dogs will often need to put in two or more strides between jumps. The handler who plans a foot path that mirrors the direction the dog should go—perhaps by adding small strides herself—will give good information. A handler who gets flat footed and points only with her arms held high at the next jump will convey little information to the small dog. ing long and out of position for the next obstacle, unable to recover before the next takeoff. A late cue may cause the dog to glance at the handler (“What? Where are we going?”), possibly taking his eye off where he is going next. In either case, it reduces the time the large dog has to get set for the next obstacle, resulting in an off-balance takeoff, which will often mean a bar down or another wide turn. An occasional error is inevitable, but over time, if the handler is consistently late with cues, the dog may adapt by going wide, effectively giving himself the time to negotiate his groundwork before each obstacle, or the dog may simply slow down by adding strides and begin taking off and landing closer to the jumps, ensuring that he has time on the ground to prepare for the next obstacle. Late information for small dogs can seem a bit more forgiving. They land closer to the jump and once landed have an extra stride or two on the ground to regain their balance before the next takeoff point. On the other hand, because the small dogs spend more time on the ground, it’s easier for the handler to misjudge commitment points and give an early cue that pulls the dog off the next obstacle. This difference can be a trap for small dog handlers because they may begin to babysit obstacles by running right up to them to ensure commitment rather than examining other factors, such as their timing or the dogs’ understanding of path in relationship to handler cues. Falling into this trap can become a never-ending cycle because the dog doesn’t build understanding of path, requiring more information from the handler before committing to obstacles and resulting in a handler who runs right next to the dog. These outcomes further limit the handler’s options on course; for example, rear crosses become difficult and even when the course requires them, the handler will opt for a late front cross, which further slows the dog down. Dogs of all sizes enjoy running in agility. Large dogs show off their power and ability to cover ground with a minimum number of strides. Small dogs cut corners on turns and run shorter paths to get the job done. All size dogs are responding to our handling cues. So whether you run a small dog or a large dog, or both, taking a look at the differences in stride length, takeoff and landing spots, and commitment points between small and large dogs, helps us understand how all dogs respond to our handling cues and how we can be better handlers for our dogs. 55 Timing Errors Since no handler is perfect, there will be errors on course. Even subtle timing errors can add up to significantly wider paths for the dog, whatever the size. Let’s take a look at early and late cues for dogs of different sizes. The effect of a late cue for big dogs can mean more than just a wide turn, unnecessary strides, or an off-course. It also increases the likelihood of knocked bars, either on the current jump or on the next. This is because large dogs have less time on the ground to rebalance themselves before their next takeoff point. For example, a late cue may result in the dog landJuly 12 | Clean Run

Clean Run - July 2012

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

Clean Run - July 2012
Contents
Editorializing: Children at Agility Trials
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
The History of the Virtual Agility League
Agility Mind Gym: See Success
Agility After Joint Replacement
Power Paws Drills: On the Diagonal
Higher Than a Kite: Training the Over-Aroused Agility Dog
From Hoof to Woof: What Riders Can Teach Handlers
Not Your Normal Agility Dog
Building Blocks: Building Hands-on Confidence and Control
Principles of Self-control on the Agility Course
Chute Straight
Small Dog vs. Large Dog Handling
I Decided to Be Happy... and Then I Was! Tips on How to Get a New Attitude
Footwork for Agility: Front Crosses
What’s in Your Toolbox?
Clean Run - July 2012 - Clean Run - July 2012
Clean Run - July 2012 - 2
Clean Run - July 2012 - Contents
Clean Run - July 2012 - 4
Clean Run - July 2012 - Editorializing: Children at Agility Trials
Clean Run - July 2012 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run - July 2012 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run - July 2012 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run - July 2012 - 9
Clean Run - July 2012 - 10
Clean Run - July 2012 - The History of the Virtual Agility League
Clean Run - July 2012 - 12
Clean Run - July 2012 - 13
Clean Run - July 2012 - 14
Clean Run - July 2012 - Agility Mind Gym: See Success
Clean Run - July 2012 - 16
Clean Run - July 2012 - 17
Clean Run - July 2012 - Agility After Joint Replacement
Clean Run - July 2012 - 19
Clean Run - July 2012 - 20
Clean Run - July 2012 - 21
Clean Run - July 2012 - 22
Clean Run - July 2012 - Power Paws Drills: On the Diagonal
Clean Run - July 2012 - 24
Clean Run - July 2012 - 25
Clean Run - July 2012 - 26
Clean Run - July 2012 - 27
Clean Run - July 2012 - Higher Than a Kite: Training the Over-Aroused Agility Dog
Clean Run - July 2012 - 29
Clean Run - July 2012 - 30
Clean Run - July 2012 - 31
Clean Run - July 2012 - 32
Clean Run - July 2012 - From Hoof to Woof: What Riders Can Teach Handlers
Clean Run - July 2012 - Not Your Normal Agility Dog
Clean Run - July 2012 - 35
Clean Run - July 2012 - 36
Clean Run - July 2012 - 37
Clean Run - July 2012 - 38
Clean Run - July 2012 - Building Blocks: Building Hands-on Confidence and Control
Clean Run - July 2012 - 40
Clean Run - July 2012 - 41
Clean Run - July 2012 - 42
Clean Run - July 2012 - Principles of Self-control on the Agility Course
Clean Run - July 2012 - 44
Clean Run - July 2012 - 45
Clean Run - July 2012 - 46
Clean Run - July 2012 - Chute Straight
Clean Run - July 2012 - 48
Clean Run - July 2012 - 49
Clean Run - July 2012 - 50
Clean Run - July 2012 - 51
Clean Run - July 2012 - Small Dog vs. Large Dog Handling
Clean Run - July 2012 - 53
Clean Run - July 2012 - 54
Clean Run - July 2012 - 55
Clean Run - July 2012 - 56
Clean Run - July 2012 - I Decided to Be Happy... and Then I Was! Tips on How to Get a New Attitude
Clean Run - July 2012 - 58
Clean Run - July 2012 - 59
Clean Run - July 2012 - Footwork for Agility: Front Crosses
Clean Run - July 2012 - 61
Clean Run - July 2012 - 62
Clean Run - July 2012 - What’s in Your Toolbox?
Clean Run - July 2012 - 64
Clean Run - July 2012 - 65
Clean Run - July 2012 - 66
Clean Run - July 2012 - 67
Clean Run - July 2012 - 68
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