a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Handling: Setting Dog's Tunnel Exit Expectations

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Handling: Setting Dog's Tunnel Exit Expectations

SUMMARY: A little thing from class Tuesday night.
This sketch is drawn from memory a day after class.Not on this drawing: #9 was in a straight path from #8 about 20 feet further on.

It demonstrated an interesting behavior on the part of most of the dogs.
We determined that probably the best handling for most handlers and dogs (especially fast dogs, where getting from 4 to 6 was tough) was this:
  1. Move laterally away from the weaves, supporting the dog in the weaves, to get into front cross position between 2 and 3 (means closer to 3 than 2). (Note: None of the dogs had problems getting over the 2 from the weaves independently.)
  2. Push the dog out slightly to get him around the back side of 4 and rfp and/or hold still briefly to be sure that you are anchoring him to pull into 5 (not go over 2).
  3. Serpentine the 6, pull the dog with you a couple of steps and push over 7. (Maybe if you were fast and your dog was slow, you could've gotten in for a front cross before 6, but because of where 9 was,  it was to your advantage to be on the takeoff side of #7 to be able to get there anyway.)
Here's the interesting thing. Most of us completed our 270 from 3 to 4 right on the wing of 4 and then instinctively ran parallel to the tunnel. This not only put us in a bad position to get the dog over 6 to 7, it also gave the dog the info that you were right with him, running parallel with him (the dotted line), so the dogs tended to blast straight out of the tunnel (dotted line).

If, however, you stayed as close to 3 as possible to push the dog out over 4, then it not only gave you more leverage in pulling the dog to the tunnel, but it also meant that when you turned and ran towards the *left* side of 6, the dog could see before he went into the tunnel that you were a good maybe 8 or 10 feet off to his left (dashed line), so when he came out of the tunnel, he was more inclined to turn to his left to see where you were (dashed line). This both put you in the ideal location for a serp and gave the dog a tighter turn to be able to take it successfully.

Thanks, Nancy, for figuring this out for us!

Update: July 31, 2:45 p.m. PDT (Another Power Paws student posted the whole course map with some additional exercises and handling notes here.)

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Yes you are welcome to use the Wordless Wednesday...it isn't mine per se, I think it started on Dogs with Blogs but it's been around so long I'm sure no one in the whole world would mind if you used it! :)