Clean Run - July 2013 - 62

© TERI AND JACKIE PHOTOGRAPHY/DOUG DUKANE

OUT SPOT OUT!

teaching Independent

Obstacle

performance, part 4
By Lorrie Reynolds
Photos by Katelyn Scott except where noted

Independent obstacle performance is the ability of the dog to complete an obstacle and maintain criteria
regardless of the handler’s motion and position relative to the obstacle. It is essential for all facets of agility
and is particularly important for distance work. A dog cannot perform at a distance if he cannot perform the
obstacles independently.
During the past three months we have
discussed teaching independent obstacle
performance related to contact obstacles, tunnels, and weave poles. The exercises in these articles were developed to
work on four separate skills: 1) sending
the dog to an obstacle while remaining
stationary; 2) moving past an obstacle
while the dog maintains his criteria for
finishing it; 3) running parallel to the dog
at a lateral distance while he performs
the obstacle; and 4) moving away laterally while the dog performs the obstacle.
This month we use these same exercises
to train common jump sequences.
Like the previous articles, this material is aimed at teams who have already
trained obstacle performance but do
not yet have dogs that will perform the
obstacles on their own; however, if you
are just beginning to train obstacle performance, you can use the principles
explained here to teach independence
62

during your dog’s initial obstacle training
and be a step ahead of the game.

A WoRD ABout
tRAInInG methoDS
Although many of the exercises in this series have used targeting to encourage the
dog to drive forward, I do not normally
use targets with jumping patterns unless
the dog is having repeated difficulties with
a section of a pinwheel or serpentine.
Correct performances should be marked
with a clicker or a verbal marker word
and followed by a reward.

tRouBLeShootInG
As with any training session, it is important to know when to lower criteria (reduce the level of difficulty) to
avoid frustrating the dog and the handler. The goal is to challenge the dog
but not allow him to fail repeatedly
or cause him to lose his motivation.

When teaching independence, start at
the point at which the dog was successful during the last training session.
If the dog fails more than once, move
back to the previous step or distance
until he is successful.
When teaching jump patterns like serpentines and pinwheels, it is also appropriate to lower the bars so that the
dog can concentrate on performing the
jumps at a distance without worrying
about knocking the bars. Repeat the exercises with the equipment at full height
when the dog understands his job.
A key to reducing frustration and increasing the potential for success is to
increase distance between you and your
dog gradually, over multiple training sessions. When the instructions say to repeat the exercise, moving away or ahead,
the repetitions should be spread out
over several training sessions.
Clean Run

|

July 13



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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