Clean Run - July 2013 - 59

Busting the Myths

You Can Talk,
You Can Smile,
You Can Have Fun!
By Silvia Trkman
I think that on every of my runs ever
posted to YouTube, someone from the
US will comment, “Uh, but she talks a
lot!” I do. I’m proud of it. I’m proud that
my dogs have all the necessary information at all times.
The one to blame for my early and
complete information is certainly
Bu. She is my little perfectionist that
never sets a foot wrong, my amazing
Border Collie with no power, drive, or
acceleration that consistently places
among top five at the FCI Agility World
Championships—only thanks to the
efficiency of her lines. As a young
dog, she would shut down if she got
information where to go next only as
she was landing because landing on
a spot that wasn’t perfect for the next
obstacle would make her worry. She
forced me to give all the information
super early since she likes to land on a
perfect spot for the next obstacle and
demands to know where the next obstacle after the next one is at all times.
Of course, she reads it from my body
language, too, but since I’m not always
in a perfect spot and because double
information is always better than no
July 13

| Clean Run

information, I also give her lots of verbal information. She loves it! She loves
to have all the information, she loves
me to repeat my cues to give her extra
confirmation that what she is doing is
right, and she loves me to talk to her
so she can feed from my energy and
not worry about other things. Providing her with extra early and complete
information is the only way to keep
her happy. And it’s often the only way
to get the perfect lines, especially on
European courses.

out if they talk to them on a course.
Real-life experience doesn’t confirm
it or my dogs would be completely
tuned out based on how much I talk!
I’m pretty sure that whatever video
of my dogs you see, it is obvious that
they do respond to my verbal cues.
Now, I don’t say “Jump” for every jump
because I usually have more important
things to say, like what is the obstacle
after or in which direction to jump it
and how. But I do talk pretty much the
whole time and my dogs love it.

I guess verbal cues in the US got a
bad reputation when people were
using them as emergency calls when
the dog was already on the wrong
line. The verbal cues I promote are
very far from this. I train the dogs
what the cues mean and then use the
cues on a course to prepare the dogs
for what happens next—the cues are
for keeping them on the ideal line the
whole time. On our courses in Europe,
verbals make things much easier, so
the “talking is bad” myth is really an
American myth.

Don’t repeat cues? Of course not if the
dog is ignoring them, but if he is actually about to do it, you can repeat
the cue—that’s how you put names
on behaviors in the first place. What
exactly is wrong with saying, “Tunnel,
Tunnel, Tunnel,” when the dog is running full out to the tunnel? You’re just
naming the behavior, right? One can
confuse the dog with it? Really? Did
you try it? My dogs hear repeated cues
over and over again and they are definitely not confused. They are actually
brilliant at verbal obstacle discrimination because they hear the cue so
many times in the early stages of train-

My US students often explain to me
they were told the dogs will tune them

59



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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