Agility class update (front cross question)
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  1. #1
    YellowJakesMom's Avatar
    YellowJakesMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultAgility class update (front cross question)

    Jake is head-over-paws in love with his agility class

    We got to work on short obstacle sequences and off-leash (finally) the last two weeks. Jump to a c-shaped tunnel, then back around over the jump the opposite way, outside of jump back to the opposite entrance of the tunnel. Jake got it each time we did it, as he is such a maniac for the tunnel - maybe by next fall we could enter a tunnelers class for fun.

    Worked on the dog walk and I got him to target at the end on my command (touch!), and sending him to his target as well from across the ring. He still stops halfway sometimes and looks at me "How far Mom? All the way? Oh, okay." I have to stop repeating my commands :-[ Or change my cue to "Go touch go touch!"

    Next week we're working on our front crosses and more off-leash short sequence work. The front cross reading homework we got was from agilitynerd.com, and I am just not getting his footwork (and can't see the video on my computer). I understand what is supposed to be happening, but not why he is turning so much - couldn't I just use my arm to send him around me? Any suggestions?

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

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    Tatyana is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Agility class update (front cross question)

    Sounds like you're making great progress, Jess! On your "touch," maybe you can shorten the distance to just 2-3 yards and work on Jake going all the way to the treat. Then, you can increase the distance gradually. That is how I taugh Scotty "go" for go outs in obedience.

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    DefaultRe: Agility class update (front cross question)

    For the dogwalk, it always helps to reinforce the stop at the end more. You can never reinforce just touching the target while at the bottom too much. My Boo had probably more than 100 reinforcements for being in 2-on 2-off before I started moving him up the ramp, and he still gets 1-10 (depending on whether we're in class or on our own) every time he does a dogwalk in practice.

    What do you mean by "why is he turning so much"?

    Let me go make a picture of the footwork ... I've tried to explain it in writing before and it doesn't really work ...

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    YellowJakesMom's Avatar
    YellowJakesMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Agility class update (front cross question)

    Agilityretrievers, it looks like he is doing a 360 turn in the middle of the cross? Which doesn't make sense to me, but I've never actually seen a front cross performed - so trying to practice without Jake and never having seen it in action, something isn't clicking. This is what I"m looking at, http://agilitynerd.com/index.cgi/agi...ontCross.index

    Does he spin all the way around to get from Step 2 to Step 3? I know once it clicks this will be a major "duh" moment for me.

    That is a very good idea Tatyana! With it being so cold now, we'll be forced to practice inside which will automatically limit my distance too - lest I try to get ahead of myself again Give Scotty a smooch for me!

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

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    DefaultRe: Agility class update (front cross question)

    http://www.geocities.com/agilityretr...ontcrosses.jpg

    I don't know exactly how your instructor teaches it, but that is the way I do it (when I think about it :P). I hope it's clear. To get used to the footwork I think the best thing is to just hop through it slowly at first, then try speeding it up and still having the feet in the same directions.

    My guess is that he's turning away from you because you've used turning-toward-dog to cue turning away (if he's turning towards you and spinning a 360, then I don't know what on earth is going on). You can teach him to turn towards you instead by reaching in with your right hand and giving him a treat while you are stepping with your right foot (that's for a turn to the right like on the picture I drew, you'd use your left hand if you were turning to the left).

    The dog only turns as much as he has to ... like if it's a 90 degree turn between the jumps, the dog turns 90 degrees, etc ... the handler is the one spinning around ...

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    3TailsWaggin's Avatar
    3TailsWaggin is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Agility class update (front cross question)

    The main thing to keep in mind with a front cross is to pivot INTO your dog, not away from him. You, the Handler, basically turn toward your dog so that you can keep your eye on him and then you pivot out of your turn toward the new direction you want to go.

    You can study those footwork charts all you like, but most likely in competition you won't be worried about what your feet are doing but DO be aware of what your body and arms are doing.

    Sometimes I have to run backwards as I do a front cross (to get out of my dog's way) so the footwork is pretty useless but the cross comes off well anyway.

    Once you get it, you'll get it Keep practicing and have fun!

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    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Agility class update (front cross question)

    If you have high speed connection, watch some videos from the Nationals or the World Championships (some are here: http://www.smoothmovesagility.com/awc2005/videos.php ) - you can watch how effective a well-executed front cross can be. And yes, you are pivoting from one side of the dog to the other.



    my coach emphasizes that a front cross should indicate to the dog that a change in course is coming - although it is often used just for convenience's sake.

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    3TailsWaggin's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Agility class update (front cross question)

    In my opinion, the front cross is WAY over used. In many cases a rear cross or blind cross works just as effectively and it is MUCH easier on the Handler's knees. And trust me, when you get to be older you will guard your knees!!!

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    DefaultRe: Agility class update (front cross question)

    It depends on the situation and the dog (and the handler's knees of course :P). Obviously if doing a front cross is going to put you in danger of injury or pain, you don't want to do it. I don't usually do front crosses when it's raining so that my dog slows down and neither of us fall down. It also wouldn't be a good idea to do one on slippery carpet or something. Also with a very fast dog it is often better to rear cross to avoid the possibility of a collision, and some dogs just prefer to have the handler driving from behind.

    Front crossing when trained and executed properly is arguably the best way to get the tightest lines possible. Even though some people think that only the top competitors need to worry about tight lines, you still need to get the tightest lines possible and get every ounce of speed out of the dog when you're trying to make SCT or pushing for MACh points. Front crosses are also very effective at removing off-course options, and keeping the dog's attention (when Dusty had focus problems, me sending him ahead for a rear cross was enough to send him shooting away in that direction).

    Correct footwork is the simplest to execute and is the clearest to the dog because you're always moving in the direction you're going. You can do it very quickly so you stay ahead of the dog the whole time. It is hard to think about in the ring, but that's why you need to practice it a lot so you do it without thinking ;D

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    debjen is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Agility class update (front cross question)

    With Riley I do alot of front crosses because he is slow and I'm usually in front of him..with Robbie I'm going to learn to do more rear crosses because he is so fast and will work at a distance..

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