Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Handling System for the Rest of Us

There has been alot of talk lately about handling systems. We've got Greg and Linda battling it out in clean run. There are a few blogs I've read lately that discuss this issue.

What is it about all the handling systems that work?

I'm watching live streaming video of the akc agility nationals. I see alot of different styles going on. The most successful dogs? Their handlers are giving clear cues in a position that does not slow the dog down. Handlers that position themselves so the dog has a clear line seem to be getting the best times.

I recognize some of the handling systems:

  • the pre-cues- arms indicating something while running (these are the people that can rub their tummies and pat their head at the same time)
  • the position - FC/RC/Serp/Threadle and run fast (sometimes resorts to verbal turn q's)
  • the hail mary - run as fast as we can and hope for the best (my favorite) using FC/RC arms failing, yelling, tripping...whatever works
  • the inconsistent - really no system, just try stuff and see what happens
  • the blame - when dog goes off course look at the dog as if it is their fault and you are horrified
  • the fail early but have an incredible run afterward - screw up and then get your act together for an amazing run
  • verbal directions - alot of yelling right/left

What is your handling system?

The thing that you can find in top handlers is that they can answer that question clearly. They will tell you how they handle a situation with three jumps in a row, their start line stay is EXACTLY the same every time, they can describe to you their contact criteria, and they train systematically practicing their handling every day.

Greg, Linda, or your own? You have to decide what works best for you and your dog, then do it over and over and over and over and over until you can describe exactly what you do in any given situation and do it the same every time.

1 comment:

Trish said...

First I like your handling system jump first and hope the dog follows! But for me they are doing work on the street infront of our house. So my dog is wigging. So we gave her some ace. Show handling is one hand on each side so she don't fall down!