More Lateral Distance Skills

I’m working at rebuilding the Joker’s Notebook. The Notebook is a comprehensive reference for teaching an agility dog to work at a distance without micromanagement.

The Notebook contains a trove of methodologies I’ve designed and documented over three decades. I’d like to improve the Notebook using video to demonstrate the various methods. Most people are visual learners anyway. If I get the design right; the reader won’t have to translate my writing… they’ll have pictures[1].

The organization of the Joker’s Notebook foundation issue needs a central checklist of important foundation skills. That checklist will include links to all of the supporting videos, documentation, and discussion.

I’m faced with a technology issue. Out of my blog the video links spawn to YouTube. The PDF for the finished document should have embedded videos that do not require internet access. I’m studying how to do that. Bear with.

In the next few months I will be organizing material for the Foundation issue right here in my blog. Pardon me if I focus on skills and exercises for my Beginner students. They need both direction and clarity.

 

Lateral on A-frame

In all lateral distance training the basic methodology is for the handler to work farther and farther from the dog at a lateral distance. This video shows our boy Phoenix getting a good workout with the A-frame.

Marsha’s criteria required Phoenix to hold a finish position until released, even as she moved. She was consistent in holding to that objective.

 

Lateral on dogwalk

In these sequences Marsha is working with two of our dogs, Katniss and Phoenix.

An interesting riddle when doing work with the dogwalk is to find a “flow” or sequence that introduces a square approach to the dogwalk allowing the handler to establish and hold a lateral path at a distance.

 

End Notes

In the introduction to this topic (https://wp.me/pmSZZ-1uf) I closed the discussion with this cryptic sentence:

It’s worth noting that Kory was trained to his independent performance skills.

It strikes me that I avoided stating the obvious. The agility skills that we desire in our dogs have to be taught. That means the dog’s trainer must intentionally establish a training goal and then define methodology accomplish the goal.

And then the hard part… the trainer must to go out and do the work, with premeditation, methodology and criteria, and patience and humor. It’s not really very hard work, giving a dog five minutes a day. It’s a small chore that needs your discipline and commitment.

I’ve taken to saying a rude but honest thing to my few clients and students these days. I say; If you want your dog to have this skill, you have to do the training. If you don’t do the training your dog will not own the skill, and you won’t deserve for your dog to own it.

 

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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 Jokers Notebook, a series of comprehensive training workbooks intended to teach a dog powerful skills of independent performance.

[1] On the down side, in some of the video’s I’ve taken over the years I might be in my morning robe or bed-clothes, having dragged myself down to feed and train my dogs while still having my morning coffee.

 

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