This morning, I set up an 80′ long loop of obstacles: 5 hoops, a short tunnel (because I only have 5 hoops) and a barrel at each end with a Manner’s Minder behind each barrel. I drew a red line around the far barrel so it is visible in the photo).
I had 3 goals in mind. The first was to create massive acceleration away from me (and back towards me) without the use of a visible lure. The second was to build more value for seeking out and running around barrels. The third was to have a massive amount of fun. This set up worked splendidly for all three goals!
With Jake, I focused on him running a super fast line along a curved path vs. skipping obstacles and running straight towards the MM hidden behind each barrel (something he will do sometimes). It was also great to practice Jake’s start line stays with him being totally amped up due to using a MM and him knowing the path ahead. I also did some big sends and recalls with Jake and he aced them.
With Lil, after a few rounds of full-out running around the loop, I started mixing in WAITs, redirects, and 90 degree turns off the path with me in various positions. She was also very amped up yet aced every challenge I presented her with.
The thing I like best about this set-up is even after I removed one Manner’s Minder early on (because it stopped working), both dogs continued to drive full speed ahead towards that barrel and continued driving hard back towards me… and this was after only a rep or two with a MM behind both barrels.
I am definitely going to use barrels and MMs like this in other types of sequences in the future. What Fun!