Get Out – Practicum

If you really think about it the “Get Out” is virtually always delivered to the dog as a bending notion. The “Glossary of Agility Terms” gives the definition: “bending A handling movement in which the handler steps into the dog’s path to effect a turn without the dog and handler changing sides.”

Always when we teach a dog a thing we want to generalize so that it is trained and tested in a variety of different contexts. The lowest common denominator when a skill has been practiced in that variety of contexts will emerge evidence as to whether the dog understands the skill, or not.

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This sequence is closely akin to the introduction we did to the “Get Out” using the pillbug. In the course of the sequence the handler has the opportunity to do a “Get Out” to the left and then a “Get Out” to the right.

Note that in my teaching I prefer that the signal be given with the inside arm. Further, I’d like to see the handler’s feet turn to point in perpendicular to the dog’s path to apply additional pressure and a cue for direction.

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In this sequence I’d like to see my students send the dog forward into the #2 pipe tunnel while layering to the opposite side of the unnumbered pipe tunnel. This puts the handler in a same sided handling posture on the 180° turn from  jump #3 to #4.

This sequence is a bit of a trap for handler’s who’ve taught their dogs to engage in a serpentine of jumps unattended by handler directive. If the handler cuts the turn neatly from #3 to #4 you just might find a number of dogs offering performance of the dummy jump. Nonetheless the handler will seek position with dog on left at jump #4 giving a strong directive to “Get Out” to the weave poles.

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The “Get Out” is a bit more problematic with a dog coming out of the collapsed tunnel. A dog always comes out of the chute with a moment of disorientation, requiring fairly prompt directional advice from the handler. So the handler should seek a position well forward of the dog and save up all of the bending cues for the “Get Out” to jump #4 until the moment the dog gets his nose and eyes out of the chute.

I find that many handlers are nearly unawares of what they do with their bodies at any moment in time. They’ll swear to you that they did this or didn’t do that though you can pretty much play back their movement in your head like the replay on a tape from a security camera.

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There’s one little implicit “Get Out” in this sequence. It would be from the collapsed chute to jump #5. Of course the handler has ample opportunity as the judge conducts his table count to get a position forward of the dog for the moment of the bend.

This sequence has a couple more delightful moments, notably the transition from the pipe tunnel at #9 back to jump #10. The handler will have to be Johnny on the spot here with compelling movement to convince the dog not to go wrong course into the #4 collapsed tunnel.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at www.dogagility.org/store.

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