Monday, March 15, 2010

The Anatomy of an Agility Handling Workshop

No matter how you handle, a consistent system is necessary for proper communication with your dog. This past weekend found me at one of my favorite venues, an agility handling workshop.
I am lucky enough to live in an area that not only has the weather to support it, but also has enough students to draw some top workshop trainers. This weekend was about the Derrett systems of handling, "advanced boxwork skills."
Some basic rules to live by:
  1. Keep your eyes (or eye in my case) on your dog.
  2. Use the arm and leg closest to your dog.
  3. Face the direction you want your dog to go.
We had a total of 10 different challenges and I learned alot about myself. I'm a flinger. I never really thought of myself as a flinger, but a flinger I am. I don't run with my arm up, nor do I run with my arm consistently in running position. I do both. I need to go to Flingers anonymous.
Timing is a huge issue. At one point Fin was doing a pinwheel to a serp (from me). She came off the pinwheel and I was thinking (here we go again) but I rewarded her anyway cause she came to the serp. Laura stopped me and said she was really glad I rewarded her because I brought my serp arm up early which resulted in her coming off the refusal line of the jump straight to me (in this case I was wrong and Fin was correct).

I'm going to go back and watch some of the videos from trials and see whether some of those "go around jumps" are "handling" rather than her being a brat.

Fin had a great time. I had a great time. Nothing better than hanging out on a beautiful day with your dog and best friends.

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