Sunday, May 13, 2012

Saying the Right Thing

Over the winter, I worked with Belle on "left" and "right."  Much to my surprise, she now has a pretty good response to those commands despite my moments of dyslexia.  I set up this regular course so that we could do some bonus line work.

Belle and I attempted this one from the 15-pt bonus line at a trial last month.  I thought the #12 tunnel would be the hardest part of the course since the handler's view of the tunnel opening is blocked by the A-frame.  I also thought the turn from 10 to 11 would be difficult because of the #4 jump.  I chose to say "switch" for the turn, and unfortunately, Belle turned left instead of right.  Going from 19 to 20, "switch" caused Belle to turn right.  Go figure.

My original plan was to work on Belle's understanding of "switch" when I set this course up.  However, I soon discovered that "left" and "right" yielded much better results.

This afternoon, I after running the course as above, I decided to see how far we'd get if the course were reversed.  We didn't make it all the way through, but I was very pleased that we were able to make the left turn from 3 to 10 on our second try.  We might have even been able to complete the course if I had used "right" instead of "get out" to get Belle from 19 to 4.  ("Get out" caused her to move out to the off-course #20 tunnel.)


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