A couple agility (foundation) questions

Discuss Agility, Disc Dog, Dock Diving, Fly Ball, Lure Coursing, Schutzhund, Tracking, Weight Pull, and other Dog Sports here!
User avatar
Nichole
Pit Bull Forum Addict
Posts: 1730
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:02 pm
Location: Seattle, WA - http://www.niroha.com/
Contact:

A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby Nichole » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:08 pm

I'm taking an agility foundations class. Downside of starting this at Sadie's age (nearly 3) is that she has some habits and quirks that are a little harder to iron out.

The first obvious problem is I only recently - as of this summer - started to teach Sadie a formal heel. It was hard enough teaching her to heel and keep her body pointed forward (vs cocked to the side to look at me) but the right side presented a whole different problem. We're still shaping the positioning on it and I'm getting her more comfortable moving/walking/running on my right side. I wanted a hand signal to teach Sadie to heel on my right OR left side. So heeling on my left? great. Now insert hand signal here to have her cross over behind me to heel on the right. Back and forth, moving/running the whole time, heeling on right or left based on a hand signal.

My instructor saw this and thought this was a very very bad idea. Dogs should never cross over in front or behind me on the course. My thinking before this was to being able to control where she goes, what side, etc. Should I stop doing this ASAP?

We're also learning a right turn and a left turn. Sadie only turns left. Thus far turning right has been a big fat failure. The instructor has tried to explain to us how we will use these commands. I'm having a hard time picturing what she is talking about. Anyone have a video that shows what I am ultimately building up to with this?

User avatar
Sarah
Dabbling Dog Coddler
Posts: 10361
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 1:21 am

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby Sarah » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:52 pm

The issue is that you don't want your dog changing sides on the course unless you specifically cue it. Many people feel that your dog should never change sides when behind you, with or without a cue. When that is done with a cue, it's called a "blind cross", and it's something I use, but it's controversial.

I used a bunch of them with Tully, it was a good move for her. Here I use one at a contact, and you can hear someone start talking about them in the background lol



and towards the end of her career, I was really using a ton of them:




The issue with it, though, is that you do not want the dog to start squirting off when you haven't cued the blind. I don't have video of that right now, but we had a classic case at class on Monday, where the handler's dog was ducking behind her to take the wrong end of a tunnel. In general, it's just easier to teach the dog never, ever to cross your path. If you're at all likely to accidentally cue the switch when you don't want it, I wouldn't use that move.

As far as the turns, I'm a little confused. She wants you to have the turns on verbal cue? Your dog does need to be able to turn, but I've never used verbal cues for turns. It's something I'm probably going to have to do with Pirate, at least off of the dogwalk, but usually I'm doing good to remember the names of the obstacles, I'm not going to confuse myself by trying to remember right and left.

User avatar
Nichole
Pit Bull Forum Addict
Posts: 1730
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:02 pm
Location: Seattle, WA - http://www.niroha.com/
Contact:

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby Nichole » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:13 pm

See when I see those videos of the blind crosses happening with you and Tully it looks so fluid I wouldn't have thought anything of it and definitely wouldn't have thought it was a no no. I'm guessing you'd have to really alter how YOU run the course if you don't allow any form of crosses, blind or otherwise.

Given the hand signal I am using (a general sweep behind my back with the hand she is currently on, sweeping towards the side i want her to be on) it is unlikely I would accidentally signal it unwanted, but given the fact my instructor is so against it I guess I'll back off for now.

With the right/left turn, yes she wants us to give a verbal for it. I feel like, I can barely get out the names of the equipment, let alone right-left. To make it more confusing, she doesn't want us to use the words right or left. So if Sadie is on my left side, I lure her around counter clockwise 180 degrees (an about face) and I turn as well at the same time so now she's on my right. It's an about face for both of us. Again, I just don't know what it is exactly I am working torwards long term and how this would be used on the course. The instructor gave an example of a sharp turn off the dog walk into a tunnel - I just need to see someone applying this right/left about face command to see the big picture.

Sadie is SO AGAINST turning clockwise. It's going to be very very challenging to get her to bend her body that direction.

User avatar
Sarah
Dabbling Dog Coddler
Posts: 10361
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 1:21 am

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby Sarah » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:36 am

Nichole wrote:See when I see those videos of the blind crosses happening with you and Tully it looks so fluid I wouldn't have thought anything of it and definitely wouldn't have thought it was a no no. I'm guessing you'd have to really alter how YOU run the course if you don't allow any form of crosses, blind or otherwise.


Well, you have to have some sort of crosses, but the other ones (front or rear crosses) are more based on the handler crossing the dog's path rather than vice versa. And you keep your eyes on your dog. With the blind cross, you lose sight of the dog. And to some people, that is forbidden. Tully and I did blind crosses very well, so it does look really good, but in some systems, it would still not be allowed under the theory that the dog would start crossing on it's own. (for the record, that never happened with me & Tully, and blind crosses got a lot of speed out of her)

I actually would not go with the sweep towards the side, it would be too easy for other movements when you are running to resemble that to your dog. I use very clear gestures when I'm asking for a blind, and the cue is visible until I know the dog has made the switch. As you say, though, it would probably be best to avoid this for now.

I can't really help you with what the instructor wants from the turns you are describing, because as I said, it isn't something I much use. As you could see in one of the runs I posted, to turn my dog off the DW, I just faced her and pushed her to it. I do the same with Tess. Pirate will be ahead of me on the DW, so will eventually need a verbal cue to turn him. I do know people who just have a cue that means "turn away from me", which is probably a little easier to remember. Anyway, I think you'll have to ask your instructor to show you what she is working towards, or point you to some video.

Sadie is going to have to learn to turn clockwise, though. There will be places on a course where she needs to do that.
In this course with Tess:


you can see her do a wrap after the 2nd to last jump. (I used a front cross to get the wrap) Ideally, she'd wrap that a bit tighter, I could have cued it better. Anyway, in this case, the best way to wrap was counter-clockwise, but it could just have easily been clockwise.

User avatar
nic
Forum Junky
Posts: 3391
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:32 pm
Location: UK

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby nic » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:09 am

I would agree,that you don't want to teach your dog to cross you like that.
It depends on what handling system your using,but like Sarah said the blind cross is controversial,and in the system I use we don't ever use them,as it would break one of the handling rules...'never cross the line of your dog'.
If I do a front cross I am in a postition where I don't cross their line,but create a new line for them to change direction,and rear cross is fine as they have already run the line which I am about to cross.
Also if your dog is used to crossing right in front or behind you,as you are teaching,then when your running a straight line of jumps,they'll think nothing of zipping off and taking an off course obstacle because you have taught them to cross your path.
But the blind cross is I think something which makes most dogs accelerate.
I'm suprised your dogs don't know verbal cues for turns Sarah,I don't think there is anything wrong with that,just suprised :)

Nichole it is easy to remember,once you get ued to it,and easy to teach,just teach Sadie to spin left and right and add your direction cues to them. :) Then you can progress to direction commands round jump wings,then actually on wings.
That said yor dog will almost always go by what your body is saying,not your voice,but if both your body and voice are saying the same things your dog can be certain of what yu want. :)

To get her use to running along side you on either side you can just run along with a toy in either hand with treat or toy,and lure her to like being in that position,you certainly do not need to have a perfect heel when your out on an agility course,though you might want to call them momentarily to your side to change their course a bit.(But I do mean for like a tenth of a second or something)
Also you can leave her in a wait,toy in the hand you want her to run next to,and just call her in and reward,moving onto releasing her from the wait,and running whilst she catches up and therefor runs next to you on the correct side,you want her to learn that being in that 'reinforcement zone' is a good place to be. :)

User avatar
nic
Forum Junky
Posts: 3391
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:32 pm
Location: UK

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby nic » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:09 am

ooops I meant progress from round jump wings,to actual jumps.

User avatar
nic
Forum Junky
Posts: 3391
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:32 pm
Location: UK

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby nic » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:14 am

Nichole wrote:See when I see those videos of the blind crosses happening with you and Tully it looks so fluid I wouldn't have thought anything of it and definitely wouldn't have thought it was a no no. I'm guessing you'd have to really alter how YOU run the course if you don't allow any form of crosses, blind or otherwise.

Given the hand signal I am using (a general sweep behind my back with the hand she is currently on, sweeping towards the side i want her to be on) it is unlikely I would accidentally signal it unwanted, but given the fact my instructor is so against it I guess I'll back off for now.

With the right/left turn, yes she wants us to give a verbal for it. I feel like, I can barely get out the names of the equipment, let alone right-left. To make it more confusing, she doesn't want us to use the words right or left. So if Sadie is on my left side, I lure her around counter clockwise 180 degrees (an about face) and I turn as well at the same time so now she's on my right. It's an about face for both of us. Again, I just don't know what it is exactly I am working torwards long term and how this would be used on the course. The instructor gave an example of a sharp turn off the dog walk into a tunnel - I just need to see someone applying this right/left about face command to see the big picture.

Sadie is SO AGAINST turning clockwise. It's going to be very very challenging to get her to bend her body that direction.


You would be suprised what you do with your arms when your running flat out,and trying to keep your balance around some turns lol

If you want to use left and right as your cues,tell your instructor that,it matters not what words you use. ;)
Unless she means she wants one command for just a general turn right or left,and another for wrapping round the ring and coming back to where she came from.
Has Sadie been taught to turn in one direction for her flyball turn?Just teach her the left and right spin,she'll be turning the other way in no time at all. :)

User avatar
nic
Forum Junky
Posts: 3391
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:32 pm
Location: UK

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby nic » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:22 am

http://youtu.be/VTPXiLatK60

I use a front cross around jump 3,the Mookie is on my right,but i pick her up with my left,to change the side of me she is on,I also use a front cross at the end of the dog walk contact.
i think what you are describing with the about face thing is actually a front cross,can you get some vid of it?
the dog is on one side,but i want to change sides,so i turn into her to end up on the other side.
i am actually changing the dogs line,but it took me ages to understand that completly!It sounds like you have a good teacher though,you will get it!
Can you go to agility shows and just watch some more?I learnt a lot by watching.

User avatar
nic
Forum Junky
Posts: 3391
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:32 pm
Location: UK

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby nic » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:24 am

Sorry forgot to add,if this is what you men about the about face/front cross,then this is 2 of the many ways to use it on a course.
Its advantageous because if taught properley it makes turn tighter.

User avatar
nic
Forum Junky
Posts: 3391
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:32 pm
Location: UK

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby nic » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:36 am

Sorry me again!
Just found this vid,here you can see Flooie doing a front cross from jump 5 to 6,notice how tight round the wing she is on 5,that's because the we have strict rules about the front cross which create a dog who collects his stride,to jump short,therefore making the turn really tight.
Same thing on the 2nd sequence,jump 4 to 5,front cross,then you can see how go means run in a straight line,till I cue otherwise,if she was allowed to cross me,she would quite possibly take the off course jump to her left near the end,the handler being on her left would be a big pull to take that left hand jump if she hadn't been trained to go on.
I see a huge difference in her,having being trained on this system,compared to Mookie and Shady who weren't.She and me are miles better.

User avatar
nic
Forum Junky
Posts: 3391
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:32 pm
Location: UK

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby nic » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:36 am


User avatar
Sarah
Dabbling Dog Coddler
Posts: 10361
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 1:21 am

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby Sarah » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:01 am

nic wrote:I'm suprised your dogs don't know verbal cues for turns Sarah,I don't think there is anything wrong with that,just suprised :)


As I said, just hard for me to keep track of, so I haven't taught it. I was working on a verbal "wrap" command with Tess, to get her to turn tight away from me , but I've slacked on that, maybe I'll get back to it.

I haven't needed a lot of directional commands because my handling system involves me being ahead of my dogs most of the time, and showing them the course. I think, and I might be wrong, but based on some videos I've seen of UK agility, I might have to do things differently if I were over there. I've seen a lot of vids of UK agility that seem to require the dog to take a long, relatively straight line of jumps, which the handler can't keep up with, often followed by a turn. I watch these videos, and hear a lot of "go on, go on" from the handlers. We don't have a lot of that on the US courses I run. My dog generally wouldn't be more than one obstacle ahead of me.

This is a pretty typical course:



As you can see, I tend to use few verbals at all, I expect her to respond to my motion cues and to the line that I'm showing her as I run. And there are rarely more than a couple of obstacles without a turn, so not hard for me to be ahead most of the time. This run is actually a bit unusual in that I use a rear cross in it. I don't use a lot of those, Tess handles better with fronts, but sometimes I have to.

User avatar
Nichole
Pit Bull Forum Addict
Posts: 1730
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:02 pm
Location: Seattle, WA - http://www.niroha.com/
Contact:

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby Nichole » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:16 am

nic wrote:http://youtu.be/VTPXiLatK60

I use a front cross around jump 3,the Mookie is on my right,but i pick her up with my left,to change the side of me she is on,I also use a front cross at the end of the dog walk contact.


I think that is exactly what our instructor is going for. So that's called a front cross? Ok. That helps. I'm a visual person and my brain requires I see the end product to know what I am moving towards. Thanks!
Do you have it on a verbal or just a hand signal?

Sarah wrote:Sadie is going to have to learn to turn clockwise, though. There will be places on a course where she needs to do that.

nic wrote:Has Sadie been taught to turn in one direction for her flyball turn?Just teach her the left and right spin,she'll be turning the other way in no time at all. :)


Sadie's deep rooted counter clockwise turn goes a little deeper than flyball. When she was 6 months old or so she learned spin. I tried teaching her both directions but her brain refused to bend her body in a clockwise direction. So for 2.5 years she has been doing a counter clickwise (left) spin and never a clickwise (right) spin. So naturally she turns left in flyball. But there is something about the context... when I take her swimming and toss her the ball, she grabs the ball and turns right all in one smooth action. If you set the ball on the ground and tell her to get it she will turn right or left 50/50 (essentially a sloppy spin). So she CAN do it. But when I am trying to lure her? Forget it. She fights it with every fiber in her body. I am going to try to try and teach spin a slightly different way to try to change up the context.

User avatar
nic
Forum Junky
Posts: 3391
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:32 pm
Location: UK

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby nic » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:04 pm

Sarah wrote:
nic wrote:I'm suprised your dogs don't know verbal cues for turns Sarah,I don't think there is anything wrong with that,just suprised :)


As I said, just hard for me to keep track of, so I haven't taught it. I was working on a verbal "wrap" command with Tess, to get her to turn tight away from me , but I've slacked on that, maybe I'll get back to it.

I haven't needed a lot of directional commands because my handling system involves me being ahead of my dogs most of the time, and showing them the course. I think, and I might be wrong, but based on some videos I've seen of UK agility, I might have to do things differently if I were over there. I've seen a lot of vids of UK agility that seem to require the dog to take a long, relatively straight line of jumps, which the handler can't keep up with, often followed by a turn. I watch these videos, and hear a lot of "go on, go on" from the handlers. We don't have a lot of that on the US courses I run. My dog generally wouldn't be more than one obstacle ahead of me.

This is a pretty typical course:



As you can see, I tend to use few verbals at all, I expect her to respond to my motion cues and to the line that I'm showing her as I run. And there are rarely more than a couple of obstacles without a turn, so not hard for me to be ahead most of the time. This run is actually a bit unusual in that I use a rear cross in it. I don't use a lot of those, Tess handles better with fronts, but sometimes I have to.


Tess does follow you nicely,and to be honest alot of times I could just use my body too.I can also keep up with the dogs most of the time,but with Shady if he thinks I am 'racing' him he knocks jumps down,so the more static I can be whilst handling him the better.
The courses which you've seen which have long straight lines would probably be grade one courses,beginer stuff.
This is a grade 3 course,as you can see,there's a tight start,weaves,couple of right turns,then a 'snake',think you call them threadles' over there?Then a long run with jumps either side to catch the dogs out lol

http://youtu.be/8B8FyRFDZp0
Last edited by nic on Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
nic
Forum Junky
Posts: 3391
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:32 pm
Location: UK

Re: A couple agility (foundation) questions

Postby nic » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:05 pm

http://youtu.be/8B8FyRFDZp0
sorry i can't delete this post!


Return to “Dog Sports”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests