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October 15 – pushes and leads

October 14, 2011

Take a break from watching the NADAC Championships ( and join us in the sunshine to practice some agility skills. The course this week emphasizes putting pressure on the dog’s path to bend off away from you or in some cases just to avoid bending in towards you.

Think about where the dog’s lead changes are. You need to manage the path to make those happen where you want them, or more appropriately, enabling your dog to decide to make them where they work best for the course. It is October in Northwest. Even if it is sunny, the ground is still wet from rains earlier this week. Because of that, I’ve designed the course such that the natural places for lead changes are on the flat, between jumps or on/in ground level obstacles (tunnels and hoops). Not counting the lead changes inside tunnels (which happen simply because the dog has to make them there irrespective of your input), how many lead changes are there on the course? Identify them in your walk through, then make sure your dog understands where the next obstacle will be, at least one obstacle distance ahead of time so he/she can make that lead change in the optimal location.

As always – practice what you want to work on – that is much more important than performing the entire course as designed…

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