Saturday, April 19, 2014

Reverse Spin

I have been watching a fair number of agility videos on YouTube lately.  Reverse spins are getting very popular.  I like them in the right situation.  Saves my knees and can give the dog more information about what is next in certain situations.

I compared two scenarios that are getting common for reverse spins (RS).

I set up a course to play with this concept some and then watched the video.  Most times I learn way more from the video then I do from actually running a sequence.

Here is the video of my session:

#1 with Tangle, he had a nice turn and understood where he needed to go.  I want a tight turn and I want to take off in the direction I am facing.  Standing still, and with my position into my dog tells them to collect.

#2 - The distance between the jumps is about 18 feet, standard for a trial. I don't want a tight turn, just a turn and I certainly don't want any collection since it isn't needed and I want a fast time.  In this situation I got a tighter turn than what is required and I felt like I was behind.

Here is a Coach's Eye comparison.  The RS is slower than the forward motion.

Split #2 - Split demonstrated nicely that he thought a tight turn was coming and to get the correct jump I had to correct his path.  He was correct, the RS for him is asking for a tighter turn.  Also, it is not giving any indication that we are going to continue motion forward, it told him a very opposite story.  If I continue to do RS's in this situation I believe that I would dilute my turning cues with Split.  Something I have fought hard to get :)

When I am walking a course I look at the course as a series of (dog's) lines.  I want to cue as much of a line as possible and give the dog as much advanced information about where we are going.  In the  case of using a reverse spin to go out to the far jump I am not giving them much information.  I believe there are better handling choices.

5 Strides!

Split and I have been working on a running dog walk for the past several months.  When it got up to full height he decided to start giving me 6 strides and collecting at the end.  I am sure that he knows to hit the yellow and this was his insurance policy.  I also think that it was influenced by teaching him the Rachel Sanders box method on the AFrame.

Silvia Trkman was worried that it wouldn't hold up in a trial when he was uber excited.  So, she encouraged me to see if I could get 5 strides out of him.

So, we lowered the DW, put a carpet on the end and set everything up to get extension out of him.  Super speedy entrances and exits, I was running ahead of him, etc...

A week of running like that, clicking when I got extension and not really worrying if he didn't hit the contact zone (which was covered with carpet).  I would jackpot however if he did hit it.

Finally!  I got 5 strides out of him.  This is his session from today, carpet is faded, not quiet full height.

There is one rep where I think something surprised him and he collecting on the top, but other than that, we have progress.  Huge progress!!