Discrimination ~ the Fourth Option

The small camps that I teach allow me to bring out my own dog, partly for the purpose of demonstration, and just as partly for the opportunity to train him a thing or two. I’ve always considered myself a lazy trainer (though completely relentless); and I manage to take the long view of the training mission. Kory keeps disappointing in this though… because he never takes the long view. He gets things so quickly that I nearly feel ripped off that I didn’t get to run my naked toes through the intricate granularity of my complete training protocol.

Okay, no, I don’t really feel ripped off at all. Surprised and amazed is more the order of it. You know though, I’m more and more convinced that Border Collie training is a matter of moderate intelligence. And thank the heavens for that.

I’ve always taught the handling of the traditional discrimination puzzle to be a matter of relative position to the dog. The red dot on the map above represents the body magnet position. The handler relies on the notion that the proximity of his body to the obstacle being taken is a powerful attraction to the dog, and the dog should gravitate to the obstacle nearer to the handler. Of course a savvy handler will take the insurance of an RFP to fortify his attractive position. The blue dot represents the blocking position from which the handler will bend or intrude to block the approach to the wrong course obstacle, with the insurance of a Get Out. And the green position represents the behind-the-dog fast-dog-handling position, probably handled by tapping on the brakes and rolling into a Post & Tandem movement.

The Fourth Option

… teach your dog the names of the obstacles. It took me about 10 minutes with Kory. Now he’s nailing this with about 99% accuracy. I stay at the table and after the initial jump command will frame my intentions forward.

Here, let me draw this for you…

Oh boy. Perfect dog for an old man! I know I’m OOP for the jump after the tunnel. But I’m training my dog here. Be patient with me.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

Who is the dog in this drawing? Who was the handler?

The first correct answer, posted as a reply to this blog post, wins a free copy of the April Jokers Notebook.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training Plan – April 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: http://countrydream.wordpress.com/web-store/ . Readers of my web log get a discount: Enter “special04” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.

4 Responses to “Discrimination ~ the Fourth Option”

  1. Krista Hill Says:

    OK – that caused an “ah-ha” (or maybe more like a “duh?”) moment for me…thanks Bud!!!

  2. Erica Says:

    The drawing is of Rick Rack, a border Collie handled by Hazel Thompson, and a member of the 1995 USDAA World Team. The drawing appeared in your June 23, 2009 blog on Harmony.

  3. kim Says:

    I taught my novice dog the names of the obstacles too…then I realized that in NADAC they do double tunnel discriminations…suddenly “tunnel” was no longer going to work 😉 I’ve switched to using “Come” and “Out” and try to keep my mouth shut to keep any other words from coming out during a discrimination…I’M only about 80% accurate with that!

  4. Brian f. Says:

    dog is Legend, handled by Janet Gaunt… perhaps…

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