17 December 2010

Handling

I know I don't often talk about actual handling and training particulars on this blog, that it's more of a journal. But today I'm going to show you one of the changes I'm making in the way I handle Seri. Seri is 4 years old, is very fast, a big jumper, and a bit prone to knocking bars if she picks up speed. Which she does, a lot. I've noticed she has a lot of trouble with decelerating around a jump. She just doesn't seem to understand how to do all of her slowing down before she jumps. So I've decided that, rather than continue fighting with it, I'm changing it up a bit. So far I'm getting great results. I've decided to make changes that bring my handling more in line with the handling of the better europeans, who run pretty technical courses all the time, but still often have great distances to cover between some sections of the course.


Here is a sequence to imagine. Pretend it's in the middle of the course.

Here's how I'd normally handle it with Drifter or Kiba.


Here's how I'm starting to handle some of these with Seri.


These 2 ways to do the turn allow the dog to keep a relatively high speed, and while the path the dog takes may be a bit longer, it is very much worth it with a dog like Seri who has such a high ground speed and is at risk for knocking the bar if handled the first way. I'm also working on teaching her my very first deliberate blind cross. I will make that and post it separately in a few minutes. I generally don't like blind crosses, but I have been spending a lot of time watching video of dogs in europe, and I think this particular cross is worth teaching to a dog like Seri, as long as I maintain consistent handling cues for both this, and when I don't want her to jump behind me.
















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