agility question - directions

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Nichole
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agility question - directions

Postby Nichole » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:23 am

Okay agility peeps - Sadie and I are struggling with directions. Like, Sadie goes through a tunnel and I want her to turn right when she comes out. What training steps did you go through to get to that point? Break it down for me, because I'm hitting a wall.

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DogNerd
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Re: agility question - directions

Postby DogNerd » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:12 am

For me, turning out of a tunnel is going to totally depend on where I am when I put my dog in and where I am going and how I help her to understand that. It also depends on what way the tunnel is curved and what my dog's natural line is. Can you describe the situation where you want her to turn a little better? Think about it in her terms - she is running through a dark tunnel and probably getting some speed and momentum. If she doesn't have any cue about where she is headed as she exits, she is going to come flying out straight, right? I like to think of car analogies - like if I am driving at top speeds through a dark tunnel and I had to exit and immediately take a right turn and didn't know about this before hand, I'd probably get in an accident. It all depends on the handling system you are using but for me if I need a tight turn out of a tunnel to the next obstacle (I'm assuming the dog is on my left,) I would hang back and call my dog repeatedly while she is in there, "Q Q Q Q" so that she can hear where I am and will be inclined to turn toward me. If she was entering from my right side, I'd be sure to be up ahead at the exit , still calling but in her line of sight as she exits so I can front cross her to make a right turn, or if that were not possible I would rear cross her as she enters, making sure she feels me cross just as she goes in and I would still call while she is in there. If you want her to do something that is the opposite of what the natural line is, she is going to need as much information about that before she goes in there, or while she is in there as possible.

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Re: agility question - directions

Postby XDogs » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:39 am

set up exercises where you are sending her via left hand turn into a tunnel. Call it "left" Do the same for a right hand turn into a tunnel (calling it "right") then do it in a rear cross both directions. Some people do "wrap right" and "wrap left" as a send wrap over a jump. As you feel those two getting better, start setting up an intersection with the option of right or left tunnel, calling your direction of choice. Only reward the turns that are correct. Rear crosses will be more difficult, so don't start with that.

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Re: agility question - directions

Postby Patch O' Pits » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:43 am

Your body language when you send her into the obstacle, as well as, directional commands are going to be the biggest help! Commands such as, back, switch, left and right are often used for directional changes.

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Re: agility question - directions

Postby Nichole » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:41 am

The exact set up was a straight tunnel, and once she was out she had a teeter to her left and a jump to her right. She wanted to veer to the left to the teeter, I wanted her to veer to the right for the jump. She's obviously faster than me, so it resulted in her going left and me calling her back right to the jump because she doesn't understand the verbal cue for 'right'

Are there any ground work steps I can do at home? I don't have a tunnel at home. I have a jump or two I could use as props. She can do a spin and a 180 direction change on hand cue while in a heel but we've been struggling to put a verbal on it which is why she has no idea what I am talking about when I tell her a direction at practice.

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Re: agility question - directions

Postby DogNerd » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:55 am

So again I think this depends on your handling system, but it sounds to me like you need to do more circle/flat work. That's great because you don't need any equipment to do it! I probably wouldn't even be putting verbal cues on it - just work on teaching her to follow your body movements and move up to doing it at speed in big circles. Did you do this kind of thing in your foundation training? There are lots of youtube videos and info on line about how to work the exercises.

I don't really know much about training the distance-style handling like what you see used in NADAC and where people use lots of verbals so if that is the way you are going to handle, this is probably no help! I mean, I can handle with some lateral distance and have a "go on" but I don't use directional verbal cues at a distance so maybe that is what you are wanting?

Did your trainer have any tips for you as to what you could work on at home?

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Re: agility question - directions

Postby Nichole » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:16 pm

I was talking to a friend of mine who does agility and she was asking what training system we are on. I don't know. Sadie is my first dog, and this is my first go with agility, and we just finished up our 2nd (or 3rd?) class. I think we just started our 3rd. Myself and one other person are the only agility newbies to the class, everyone else is on their 2nd+ agility dog so I feel like I get left in the dust sometimes. Last week we went over front crosses and rear crosses again because myself and the other newbie felt like we moved on too quickly from it and didn't have a good grasp of it. I think I need to do the same with this turning business. Sadie is a natural at agility, so it only seems to show when we (or just me) aren't getting something until we're deep in the throws of a run.

I just find some things confusing. A left or right turn is different than a wrap, but I'm failing to see the difference in training, how to differentiate it verbally or with body language, if I even NEED to put it on a verbal or if it all goes back to body language cues.

Sigh. I'm just a little confused and feeling left behind with this stuff. I might see if I can do a private with her to get more grounded with this stuff.

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Re: agility question - directions

Postby DogNerd » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:26 pm

It took me so long to really understand what I am doing out there and it has been an up and down battle. I have challenges in the way I learn and see things that make it take a little longer for me and I have trained at two different schools, with different systems making things even more confusing. I trained for at least a year without having a clue that there even was such a thing as a handling system. Once I transitioned to a clear one, things got a lot easier. I am on my second agility dog now (but still working and learning with the first one) and I am taking things really really slowly. I don't even have him on equipment yet, just wobble boards. I am doing a TON of foundation work with him. Foundation has been a big key to my understanding and I can't stress its value enough. I think a private is a great idea. Then maybe your trainer can give you an idea of the system you are learning and you can do some searching of youtube videos and books etc to help you get an even better understanding.

Don't let it get you down! Just keep asking questions and speak up when you are behind. I think sometimes the trainers forget how confusing it can be in the beginning.

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Re: agility question - directions

Postby pblove » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:29 am

I would look for some private foundation lessons, Have you checked into any foundation dvd's?
what about joining an agility yahoo group


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