Wednesday, April 13, 2016


For me, the most difficult thing about bonus line work at this point is figuring out what verbal cues I need to give.  I think I'm doing a fairly good job of drawing the line, but when your dog is heading  away from you, verbals become essential for alerting your dog to what you want.  Today, we tackled the Open version of yesterday's Jumpers course.

Today, the biggest problem I encountered with both Belle and Willie was getting from 5 to 6.  I tried "go," get out," and "switch," all to no avail.  This was really weird since the opening on the yesterday's Novice course was exactly the same as today's Open course, and 5 to 6 was definitely not a major issue yesterday!  The solution to my problem was to use a "come" command as the dogs were closing in on 5.  It worked like a charm, but why it was necessary today and not yesterday was a mystery to me. 


The only other consistent issue I had today was at 3 with Belle.  If I said "switch" as she was crossing 3, she switched right then and there.  I had to delay my switch cues until she was within a stride of 4.  Since it was absolutely necessary to do this with Belle, I decided to also do it with Willie.  When I compared clips from yesterday and today in Coach's Eye, I discovered that the delayed switch cues were responsible for Willie and Belle defaulting to the tunnel if I did not say "come" as they crossed 5.

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