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.