Distance Skills in Standard Course Work

If you train a dog for independent performance you should find opportunities to practice those skills in standard course work. Resist the temptation to resort to “traditional” handling strategies that demand for you to drag your dog along behind you.

Here’s a simple example:

Study this sequence, imagining how you might handle it. Resist the temptation to use comfortable and familiar drag-the-dog-around handling. What independent performance skills might you use to solve? Using these skills allows you to practice with them in competition; grow your confidence when they work, (and learn valuable lessons in timing when you aren’t.)

I’ll share a short video below; and talk through the handling plan after.

My old boy Kory and I ran this sequence as part of a larger course about eight years ago. The most interesting bit in the handling strategy was using a Back Pass to set up for jump #7 to solve the interesting transition to #8. The opening serpentine was solved using Left and Right directionals. We also had good practice sending to pipe tunnels.

How does that strategy compare to your own? If you get a chance to set up this sequence, please share a video.


A Facebook page (The Jokers Notebook) has been set up to share homework and discussions of training a dog for independent performance. This is a private page which will require you to ask permission to join. If you have ANY difficulty getting access, please email me so I can figure it out.

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