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Agility Foundation Work 2!

Agility Foundation Work 2!

Dog Agility Singapore

Agility Foundation Work Series! (Part 2)

Dog Agility is a spectator sport where the dog & handler teams will race through a time-course. The Team with the shortest time & Zero and/or No fault, win the class! Agility is to demonstrate the speed, agileness, jumping, control & scalability of the dog & the unique bond created from the sport.

Like in any foundation, we believe strongly in the importance of groundwork & skill sets to be learned and acquired. Agility is also another form of fun obedience training, where basic commands such as Sit, Down, Stay, Come has enabled the handler the ability to handle the dog on course.

In our previous series, we have touched on Name Calling, Pickup and learning to be proficient in both left and right handling. In this series, we are focusing on Crosses as in handling options, Left & Right Turning cues, 3 Golden Rules, Come as in recall and how we put them all together.

Handling Options

As the name implies, handling options are various skill sets available for handlers to call into action when we need to be at the desirable positions on course. There are predominately 3 handling options or crosses; the Front Cross (FC) or Front Switch, Rear Cross (RC) or Back Switch and Blind Cross (BC) or Blind Switch. Crosses or Switches actually allow the handlers to switch from handling the dog on the right to the left or vice verse.

FC as per its name is to switch or cross in front of your dog. RC as per its name is the switch or cross behind your dog backside. And BC as per its name, is the switch on your blind, behind your back.

Left & Right Turns

Left & Right turns are necessities, as these cues will enable the team to give a direction at a distance. These turns are crucial for courses where verbal commands give you the edge on course.

There Golden Rules

The 3 golden rules are like the strict discipline you have to follow in order to do well in dog agility.

RULE 1 - Always know the whereabouts of your dog on course RULE 2 - Use the hand & leg that is closed to the obstacle RULE 3 - Follow through with your body language to support your verbal cues

Rule 1 - Always know the whereabouts of your dog on course is necessary & it will help you to be ready for pickup or lead your dog to the next obstacle at will. Not knowing the whereabouts will affect your decision making on course.

Rule 2 - Use the hand & the leg that is closed to the obstacle will ensure your body language and movement coincides with your intended path. If there are any ambiguous instructions, most dogs will allow their own instinct to takeover & it's most likely he wrong obstacle or your dog's favorite obstacle.

Rule 3 - Always follow through with your body cues to support your intentions. If you say tunnel; make sure your forward motion & body cue indicates the same intent. And if your intent is clear, it will always save you on course. Take an example of a dog driving into a tunnel, and your body cue is moving away from the tunnel, in most cases, you will pull your dog out of his path into the tunnel and run towards the next obstacle. This will cost you a refusal or wrong course.

Come, Command Cue

Come command as a recall is a necessity. In agility sometime you may be required to bring your dog in for a challenge on course. Come command will always be a handy command to call out to our dog.

Forward Motion is a skill where you can get your dog to continue taking an obstacle without you by his side. This distance skill enables you o send your dog to a series of obstacles without you at a distance. And dogs will forward motion skill often exhibit greater confidence than those dogs without it.

With these basic commands or skill sets & the 3 golden rules, you will be ready to take on any courses.

For more advance handling, we do have this techniques; MOTION IS KING, and the KING HAS SLAVES....

We can look at other handling techniques in our next series ....

As always, have fun & stay positive.

Dexter Sim, WMA Certified Dog Agility Instructor

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