In this class I am going to begin the foundation jump work that will teach your dog amazing understanding of jump behaviors and handling with little impact to their body. By utilizing these foundation techniques, you are able to work a relatively young dog to a very advanced handling point before they ever actually take a real jump.
This foundation works for any dog breed and can be used for young dog foundation or an older dog re-train.
There are plenty of misconceptions in agility and I find one of the biggies to be the reality of a “Velcro dog.” I believe there is no such thing. The reality is, a “Velcro dog” is a dog that has just not learned how to work away from their handler. There are plenty of ways to teach your dog to never leave your side while jumping and there equally as many ways to teach your dog to understand independent behaviors.
The core of my agility training has always been about balance. I want my dog to understand how to drive lines and be confidant with handling at a distance, but I want my dog’s ability to work close and be tight to be equally strong.
Balance comes in many forms and one of the most important is that I want my dog to have equal value for all of their obstacles (a jump is as valuable as a tunnel, a tunnel is as valuable as the A-frame and so on).
MOST importantly, the dog needs to have more value for me than any obstacle! This value is derived from all the relationship and drive work we have started in the Foundation Classes, and from all the work that we will begin to put in on this class. By management of our sessions and the frequent rewarding we are going to do as we teach these jump behaviors, when well maintained, you can always be assured that when cued in a timely manner, your dog will choose your handling signal over any obstacle that may be in front of them. And they will have a blast doing it!
Some of the concepts this and future jump classes will focus on are:
Whether you are a fast runner and can keep up with your dog on course (but wish you couldn’t J) or if you handle at a distance, all these classes will work for you!