Practicing GO ONs and turns off the dogwalk and on the flat.

I set this up to practice GO ONs, hard left turns, and soft left turns off my dog walk ramp this morning. No video but I did take a photo of the set up.

hoop_set_up_6_17_14But then I realized the set up was also great for GO ONs and turns through the hoops and it gave me an opportunity to practice taking a step or two backwards to indicate TURN vs. GO ON while layering the inner circle of hoops. I was surprised at how natural it felt to step back with Jake (to indicate a turn was coming).  Jake is not as verbally oriented as Lil plus he patterns quickly so all it takes is one GO ON through the back two hoops for him to think that is what we are going to do every time.  I needed to strongly indicate TURN when I wanted Jake to turn towards me to do a pin wheel vs. continue ahead while layering the inner circle of hoops and my backing up a step or two did the trick.

In the video below, at 1:50 I backed up a couple of steps to indicate its NOT the tunnel ahead but rather the hoop to the left of the tunnel.    Dogs seem to naturally respond to this type of motion.   I think it can be used in place of RFPs (reverse flow pivot) and I think I prefer it because the handler’s body rotation continues to face the path ahead vs. turning toward the dog and then rotating back.   Nothing wrong with RFPs!  I’m just testing the water with backing up since it seems to work as well from a distance as it does up close.. and I hope to continue exploring distance skills with Lil.

At some point in the future, I’d like to set up a 180 degree version of this morning’s set up with another layer of hoops radiating out from the 3 inner circle hoops

hoop set up expandedImagine all the possibilities and  “layering fun” to be had with this set up.

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4 thoughts on “Practicing GO ONs and turns off the dogwalk and on the flat.

  1. Wow I look at those distance challenges with the bonus box and it looks incredibly difficult to me. I can’t believe a little terrier is able to run this so well. Great job!

  2. Thank you Andreja! Its hard for me to believe Lil is able to work at those types of distances on full Elite courses since 99% of her training is done at home in our yard which is not very big. Bonus Boxes are very new for us so I am overdoing the GET OUTS thinking Lil will curl in if I don’t….. but apparently she is not wanting to curl in… and GO ONs would suffice. 🙂

    Its very cool to walk a course from a bonus box and know which skills I think we have, which skills we “might” have, and which skills we likely don’t have… then to give it a whirl. I love that it is giving us new skills to work on at home. I also love being able to watch my dog run a course “live.” 🙂

  3. Thank you again!!! 🙂 Prior to attempting our first bonus boxes, I remember thinking” “How do we get from where we are (in terms of distance) to running full courses from a small box?” I was shocked to see how well Lil ran and how confident she was. It made me think about something Bud Houston said years ago: “Dogs turn when you turn, not where you turn.” I think he is spot on with that statement.

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