Training, Always Training

Years ago I did a series of clinics for a club up in Columbus, Ohio. Someone commented to me that they’d never had a training session where all of the equipment wasn’t out on the floor. I believe that “all of the equipment” didn’t have anything to do with my immediate objectives. My tendency is to cut out the superfluous and get right down to the brass bones (is that a mixed metaphor?) Ultimately other equipment needs to be used for the purpose of generalization. Most handling skills and directional training for the dog can be accomplished with a few jumps and maybe a tunnel or two.

Training, always training… that’s me. I am so tickled that I have a new pup coming up who is a terrific student and just smart as can be. And so I make these huge leaps in criteria and expectation that really allows me to explore every dot on the learning curve. I want to share with you my immediate mission.

This is an interesting use of the floor that is minimalist and to the point. What training objectives might be explored here?

Okay, the numbered sequence is intended to work on my Left directional. I’ll approach jump #4 with my pup with a dog-on-left presentation at jump #4. As my dog is engaged in the performance of the pipe tunnel I’ll switch sides (probably with a serpentine Front Cross) to approach jump #7 again with dog-on-left where I can again use my “Left” directional to make the final turn from jump #7 to #8.

I am not averse to good handling even when it’s outside of the scope of the objective of the curriculum. It’s clear to me that my objective in the training sequence probably does not constitute the best handling of the sequence. This sequence is a good opportunity to practice powerful fundamental slow dog handling skills (forward and pulling) that are probably better handling options. I can use this sequence to teach a powerful Front Cross (and teach nuance skills like… “the dog turns when the handler turns, not where the  handler turns.”)

With these new “objectives” in mind… how does the handler finish the sequence.

Okay… with this set of the floor I also want to teach “Go On” and “Get Out”. I’ll also want to explore the difference between absolute directionals and relative. As a consequence this lesson plan goes on for another 6 or 8 pages (yep, I haven’t written them yet). And these will appear in the Go the Distance Notebook ~ Vol II #2.

Interesting Surfing

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my latest publication the Go the Distance ~ Dog Agility Distance Training Notebook – Jan 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: http://countrydream.wordpress.com/web-store/

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