Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Switch vs. Go Back

The weather has finally turned nice here in the Midwest, so I thought I'd set up a jumpers course and do some bonus line training.  Here's the course we tackled today:

 In our morning session, I made several mistakes.
  • Trying to work the course from behind the red line.
  • Using a moving start with Willie.
  • Using a switch command at #9.
Without a doubt, our biggest problem was #9 where Willie gave me all sorts of unexpected responses to my "switch" command.  When I sat down and watched the video, I could see Willie's point.  I wanted him to turn away from me and take #10.  However, from Willie's point of view there is really no change of direction involved.  Moving from #3 all the way to #10 involves moving along one big counterclockwise circle!  When I said "switch," Willie did his best to switch off the circle he was on.  He tried several different options, almost all of which involved turning to his right.

The "turn" from #9 to #10 is actually a spot where "go back" is the appropriate command.  Luckily, we have worked on that a little bit, so it wasn't totally foreign to Willie when I tried using it on this course.

In the morning session we used a running start, and Willie failed to heed my "turn" command for the right turn at #2 several times.  I decided he probably didn't need quite so much momentum approaching that first turn, so for the afternoon session, I had him start from a sit stay.

The morning session got pretty messy and ugly, so I decided to take the whole experience down a notch and use the green line for our bonus practice.  It allowed me to handle the course much more calmly and confidently.  I'm really looking forward to tackling the Open course tomorrow.


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