Clean Run - July 2013 - 57

3

4

This is heel
position.
I like her
focus on me.

7

Add a jump.
She has already
gotten good at
staring
at her toy.

5

This is the send position.
My arm is straight, her hip
is in front of my leg (larger dogs
will have their hip at your knee).
You can use a bowl or a toy,
anything really!

8

New position.
Remember, if you want
the dog to look at you,
look hard at him! If
you want the dog to
look elsewhere, look
elsewhere.

leg as shown in Figure 3. I do not require it, but when they are little I reward them when they make that choice. I also like it when I
am talking to my pups and they pay attention to me. I like to think
they think I am fascinating. I teach them that paying attention to
me is always smart and I treat them lavishly for doing it.
When I start teaching a dog to focus on something else I want to
make it as easy as possible for him. So the first step is to totally
change the picture. With my hand in his collar, I put the dog out
in front of me as shown in Figure 4. My arm is straight and the
dog’s hip is at my knee. (Okay, if you have a Great Dane this
will be a bit off. Just be sure your arm is straight out in front of
you.) In front of the dog is his bowl with a special tidbit inside.
This is my send cue that I will use in course and sequence work
for the dog’s entire career.
In this position I can watch where my dog is looking without
making eye contact with him. I can also look forward to the
dog’s destination so that my focus is on where I want him to go.
Having the dog learn to head toward where you are focusing
is yet another useful benefit of teaching this skill. Don’t worry
that you are behind the dog; your focus is making your body
language correct and your dog can pick it up in his peripheral
vision while he is still focusing ahead. Don’t allow “cheating”
with the ol’ half-head-turn-side-wise look expertly demonstrated in Figure 5. You can see what we’re really after in Figure 6.
When the dog is forward I will release him.
Since the dog is not on a sit or a down or a stay of any kind,
I don’t use my formal release word. I will say, “Go on” as I
open my fingers from the collar (do not shove the dog to the
reward!). “Go on” means “do not look at me at all, go on ahead
without me.” I also say, “Get it” just as the dog descends on the
reward (food or toy). This way he can be sure when his reward
is there. This is just insurance that the dog won’t be confused
in the future as to when he should be looking for a tidbit or not.
July 13

| Clean Run

6

That’s better.
Make good
use of all your
pre-agility
obstacles.

Cheater! This is not
okay; the focus
must be intense!

9

My staring at the
toy makes it easy
for her to understand
where to look.

10

Release equals
reward.

Build up the time the dog is staring at the bowl before you release him, but don’t go overboard with it—the dog should not
be bored with it. You will want to get to a point where you
can say, “Gooooood boyyyyy” without the dog looking at you.
Be patient, it can be hard to get this step, but it takes the comprehension of the drill to a whole new level. So take your time.
You may have to whisper in the beginning.
Do the forward send to toys as well. Then you will put a jump
(does not have to be full height) between you and the toy as
shown in Figure 7. Once you add the jump I recommend
staying true to the cueing system you will be using. Think it
through. For example, in my training program my dog would be
hearing, “Go on” when I want him jumping in extension when
I’m behind him. So I will keep using that command during all
phases of the send. Play with the distance between the dog and
the reward and obstacle. You should work up to sending to all
the different obstacles and multiple obstacles in a row. Now you
have morphed your focus work into some nice distance work!

More Advanced Work
Most dogs will learn to send away easily. It gets a bit harder when our position makes it easier for them to see us. Play
around with where you stand and see how well your dog has
learned to focus on something else. Make it easy on you both
and go back to using his bowl if needed.
Don’t be surprised if your dog has some trouble. One big tip
here: don’t look directly at the dog. Remember, that encourages
them to look at you as you can see in Figure 8. You should stare
where you want the dog to go and watch him in your peripheral
vision as illustrated in Figure 9. When he looks at the bowl/
toy/obstacle, release him with your formal release command
since he is in a position now; you are not holding the collar.
See Figure 10.
57



Clean Run - July 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - July 2013

Clean Run - July 2013
Contents
Editorializing: “Internationalization” and Course Design Trends
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility
Backyard Dogs
Knowledge Equals Speed! Handling Positions: What Do They Mean to the Dog
Focus in the Ring Is Not Just for Dogs!
The 10-Minute Trainer
Power Paws Drills: Serp City
Thermal Imaging for the Agility Dog
Trainer/Student, Coach/Athlete
Channel Weaves Modified
The Judge’s Debriefing
Training with the Stars: Jenn Crank
The Construction Zone: Weatherproof 2x2 Weave Pole Bases
Look! Teaching Dogs Where to Focus
Busting the Myths: You Can Talk, You Can Smile, You Can Have Fun!
Out Spot Out! Teaching Independent Obstacle Performance, Part 4
Clean Run - July 2013 - Clean Run - July 2013
Clean Run - July 2013 - 2
Clean Run - July 2013 - Contents
Clean Run - July 2013 - 4
Clean Run - July 2013 - Editorializing: “Internationalization” and Course Design Trends
Clean Run - July 2013 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run - July 2013 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility
Clean Run - July 2013 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run - July 2013 - 9
Clean Run - July 2013 - 10
Clean Run - July 2013 - Knowledge Equals Speed! Handling Positions: What Do They Mean to the Dog
Clean Run - July 2013 - 12
Clean Run - July 2013 - 13
Clean Run - July 2013 - 14
Clean Run - July 2013 - 15
Clean Run - July 2013 - Focus in the Ring Is Not Just for Dogs!
Clean Run - July 2013 - 17
Clean Run - July 2013 - 18
Clean Run - July 2013 - 19
Clean Run - July 2013 - The 10-Minute Trainer
Clean Run - July 2013 - 21
Clean Run - July 2013 - 22
Clean Run - July 2013 - 23
Clean Run - July 2013 - Power Paws Drills: Serp City
Clean Run - July 2013 - 25
Clean Run - July 2013 - 26
Clean Run - July 2013 - 27
Clean Run - July 2013 - 28
Clean Run - July 2013 - 29
Clean Run - July 2013 - Thermal Imaging for the Agility Dog
Clean Run - July 2013 - 31
Clean Run - July 2013 - 32
Clean Run - July 2013 - 33
Clean Run - July 2013 - 34
Clean Run - July 2013 - Trainer/Student, Coach/Athlete
Clean Run - July 2013 - 36
Clean Run - July 2013 - 37
Clean Run - July 2013 - 38
Clean Run - July 2013 - 39
Clean Run - July 2013 - Channel Weaves Modified
Clean Run - July 2013 - 41
Clean Run - July 2013 - 42
Clean Run - July 2013 - 43
Clean Run - July 2013 - 44
Clean Run - July 2013 - 45
Clean Run - July 2013 - 46
Clean Run - July 2013 - The Judge’s Debriefing
Clean Run - July 2013 - 48
Clean Run - July 2013 - Training with the Stars: Jenn Crank
Clean Run - July 2013 - 50
Clean Run - July 2013 - 51
Clean Run - July 2013 - 52
Clean Run - July 2013 - The Construction Zone: Weatherproof 2x2 Weave Pole Bases
Clean Run - July 2013 - 54
Clean Run - July 2013 - Look! Teaching Dogs Where to Focus
Clean Run - July 2013 - 56
Clean Run - July 2013 - 57
Clean Run - July 2013 - 58
Clean Run - July 2013 - Busting the Myths: You Can Talk, You Can Smile, You Can Have Fun!
Clean Run - July 2013 - 60
Clean Run - July 2013 - 61
Clean Run - July 2013 - Out Spot Out! Teaching Independent Obstacle Performance, Part 4
Clean Run - July 2013 - 63
Clean Run - July 2013 - 64
Clean Run - July 2013 - 65
Clean Run - July 2013 - 66
Clean Run - July 2013 - 67
Clean Run - July 2013 - 68
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