I set up Nancy Gyes' Power Paws Drill from the July issue of Clean Run. My goal is to run the exercises from bonus line distance. So far it's not going that well, but it is a great training opportunity for Belle, Dusty and me. Here's the course as I set it up with hoops:
I added the two red hoops to make the exercise easier from behind the bonus lines. I hope to eventually be able to remove the two hoops, but as you can see in the video, they are quite useful for improving the handler's timing and it makes the course more straightforward for the dog. Belle was drawn to the hoop on the left with the red arrow, and I eventually moved it out a good 20 feet so that it was no longer in the picture.
This brings to mind a couple of guidelines for distance training:
- Don't mark mistakes. You want your dog to be comfortable working away from you. Corrections will erode that comfort.
- If an exercise is not going as you hoped, simplify the exercise so that you and your dog can be successful.
After running the course, I decided to alter it so that I could concentrate increasing Belle's send speed. Here is the course as I will be using it tomorrow, along with a couple of suggested sequences:
If need be, I will configure the outer two lines of hoops to form arcs to encourage more speed on the send.