Clermont Continued… Absolute Directionals

The Masters game we’re playing this month with the NDAL is a Time Warp. That means there are several distance challenges that award bonuses that are subtracted from the dog’s Time Plus Faults score. In the game we are playing is the dog earns 5 bonus points for each pipe tunnel performed, so long as the handler is on the opposite side of the containment line.

You would think that a send to the tunnel is an easy kind of objective. But in this game we have a couple tunnel performances which probably require skills more advanced than a simple send to the tunnel.

Here’s the set of the floor:

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The two tunnel performances that are a bit problematic are… #16 and #18. If the handler remains behind the containment line for #16 it’s possible that the dog will earn a refusal at the dogwalk on the dismount. So it would be advantageous for the handler to have a strong “Right” command to bend the dog directly out of the pipe tunnel and onto the dogwalk. It’s worth noting that the handler can actually step over the “containment” line as the dog finishes #16; so long as the dog is completely out of the tunnel. Timing might be a chancy thing.

Absolute Directionals ~ Tunnel Dogwalk Transition

The #18 pipe tunnel has no allowance for stepping over the line. The handler needs a strong “Right” turning command, or a very convincing “Tandem” from a distance to turn the dog away and into the pipe tunnel.

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This is the basic training sequence. It might be approached by the clever dog trainer in modest incremental steps, beginning near to the dogwalk at first, and gradually working farther and farther away from the dog.

There’s no real substitute for the dog actually knowing “Left” and “Right”. But failing that, the handler might also develop relative handler cues (and antics) which speak to the dog to turn.

Here’s a YouTube video of our own work on this training sequence:

I’ll have more for you, tomorrow.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. Visit our web store: www.dogagility.org/newstore. You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, a comprehensive reference to all manner of agility games played for competition and fun around the world.

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