Another question for you agility folks...
When you handle your dog, do you try to run faster (to get where you need to be) or rely more on distance, or a combination thereof?
I noticed on agilitymom's video, (with Maddie) she runs with small steps. I tried this today because, frankly, it hurts when I run (arthritic toes, ankles, knees, hips). Today I actually ran slower and used more distance with Remington so I don't have to run so much. I know at a trial I will probably revert back to getting right there with him, because I'm worried about a Q (WHY, WHY am I worried about a Q, LOL!) and not trusting him to do his job (WHY? Why can't I let go and trust him at a trial???).
So once again, by viewing some of your video's I'm rethinking how I do things and am trying to retrain myself.
How do you run in practice vs at a trial?
I am going to try very hard to get off my dog a bit more at the trials, let him do his job, because he does it well at home, so he's going to have to learn at a trial is the same thing as home
Last edited by 3TailsWaggin; 03-10-2010 at 12:43 PM.
I have no choice but to work at distance..I can't keep up with them..LOL..so we work distance and directionals...and at times close work so we are ready for whatever we need to do
I run in small steps in AKC and larger ones in DOCNA. AKC has very little room for me to move. The courses are so tight. I am trying to show motion without moving as much. Maddie jumps so long due to how tall she is . It is like steering a semi. Panda I run very differently. She has more time to jump and run before she hits the next obstacle. I am making the transition from babysitting (my bad) every obstacle to keeping the inside path and sending the dog out. I maintain contact with my dogs with eye contact and with my arm position. Maddie can and has done a 12 obstacle course with me in the middle 20+ft away directing. AKC to me has changed so much since I have started. I really think that the big dogs are at a disadvantage. It used to feel more open to me and the courses flowed better. Even the excellent courses. There were times in the standard and both jumpers runs you saw where by the time Maddie had cleared a jump that with her long body she was staring into and is very close to an off course jump. I am grateful that she listens to me and reads my collection/turn arm. However, we both have to be on the ball or a wrong course can be taken very easily. Long story short I think that the AKC course require working closer to your dog. I bet you get more distance at CPE.
It depends on the course and which dog I'm running. Darwin and Piper are velcro dogs and I don't trust them to give me too much distance in a trial, so I usually have to get closer to the obstacles before I trust that they've committed. I'm finding that Bono is much more comfortable committing further out and will work a little further away from me both forward and laterally. I need to get him more comfortable with rear crosses so that I can use that speed in that way as well. My jrt is comfortable working away from me, but I find that I get more out of him (at a trial) if I run with him, so unless he's really geeked, we do that.
Obviously when training I'll take a lot more risks and try new things, there's not ~$25 on the line
Oh, I agree it depends on the dog. Magnum liked me to run with her, it gave her a lot more incentive to run. She also HATED start line stays, she actually ran faster if I ran with her right from the start.
Ruger would send out a bit both laterally and distance wise, I didn't need to babysit him as much.
Remington is such a clown I find I keep babysitting him at trials. At home I don't, and we have some awesome runs, but it's not a trial atmosphere. A lot of time I have to literally get in Remington's face to get him to focus on me. If I can't establish eye contact with him when he zones out, I lose him completely.
I noticed in your video with Maddie that you do keep your arm extended a lot. Just from personal experience, I think you could drop it to your side and use it only when you need to for that added "push away" you need. I get on my students for running with their arms out all the time. I find that the dogs begin to ignore it, the same as they do the "chatter" we talked about in the other thread. Just a thought.I maintain contact with my dogs with eye contact and with my arm position.
One of the most interesting (and helpful) exercises I've done is with my friend's master's level dog - she set up a course for me then made me run the course with my mouth shut and my hands in my pockets. Her poor dog was very forgiving, but it really did clean up my handling (I tend to run with my arm out WAY too much.).
With Sophie, it's a challenge to keep her focussed on me and the course, so I do use a lot of verbal obstacle cueing to keep her on track.
I do that as well, run with my mouth shut and my hands behind my back. And you are so right, it really does make you work on handling, and it really does show you how much the dog cues off the subtle body language you use.
With Peanut I run close because she's a sucky Momma's girl. With Baloo I run close because he's relatively new at this and needs the guidance.
My goal is to get them both more confident before we start showing with superdogs because those lines are WAY too long for me to sprint full out numerous times. Eek!
Peanut is much better with distance than her brother so I have hope for her. I don't know if its because she has more experience or if it has to do with doing so much obedience work with Baloo when he was young, everything was "watch watch watch" now its "go go go!"
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
Ain't that the truth! I often knew I was at a disadvantage with Ruger from our obedience work. We had a very hard time handling on the right, he had to maintain his place on my left, it was really ingrained in his brain. So we primarily ran him on my left.doing so much obedience work with Baloo when he was young, everything was "watch watch watch" now its "go go go!"
I see a lot of quirks that obedience dogs do on the agility field, but in all honesty I'd rather see a dog with some obedience training before they step into agility. Dogs that have no "stay" or "come" or focus really do need to take a few steps back into the obedience work.