Friday, October 14, 2016

Verbals - running out of words

Verbals have become a big discussion lately.  In that people are feeling like they need more. 

I am probably in that camp.  Not as many as some people are contemplating, but I at least need a couple more. Here is a map on the situation that brought this question to mind.

Currently I use the following:

Black = Cik (wrap and head back to me)
Red = no verbal at this point, just body motion and perhaps a physical send on the second jump
Green = Her name and then “round” (backside word)

But, it was brought up to me that sending around the backside when the dog has to turn away from you should have a separate verbal than just your backside word ("round").  On a crowded course with multiple choices, this makes perfect sense to me.

But what do I name it?

Inventoring my current verbals so that I can make sure it sounds distinct:

go - keep going
hit it - hit the yellow and then go on
feet - 2o2o
switch - take the obstacle and then turn away from me (change leads)
out - take the far obstacle in a discrimination (usually used in combo with obstacle name)
ok - release
jump - take the front side of the jump (used when it make not be perfectly clear)
round - backside jump and come back to me
obstacle names (tunnel, weave, walk it, jump, table)
side - stay very close to me
Dog name - give me your attention for a moment
come - come towards me
Look back - used in Gamblers (usually when we mess up) and I want the dog to find the obstacle behind them and take it

And then I combine verbals:

jump - come - take the jump, wrap tight and come back to me (used in threadles for example)
cik - Hoot's threadle command
jump-switch - used in a whiskey where they have to go away from me
hit it - switch - hit the yellow and then turn away (likely to a tunnel)
hit it - round - hit the yellow and take the backside of the next obvious jump

Verbals that I am considering just have to think through the definition:
Big - used to give more info that it is a big jump broadjump, triple, double
(backside flip away) - don't have a word right now

Verbal I am teaching, but not sure if I will use it
right/left - still trying to determine when I need this in addition to my motion

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I am about to be a very vocal advocate for dog agility equipment safety

I will write more, but I wanted to get this picture public! I can't tell you how upset I was when I saw this.  It was my failure to not spot this, but I am not the only one who failed in this situation.

The top picture was taken by Ken Gee Photography and posted with permission.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

It was well worth a year of effort!

It was about a year ago that I said to my coach "I want to change my handling and timing for Tangle".  Of course I had no idea I was on a year journey, but really it didn't matter, I just wanted to do what it took for us to be the best team we could be. 

It was about 4 months ago that I said "I am going to try to love standard" (I hated standard). 

Not that we have "arrived", I don't think that you ever truly "arrive", but we are to a point where I believe that I have accomplished a significant portion of the goal.  My handling is better, my handling choices are SO MUCH BETTER, my cueing/timing for Tangle is much better, and I am now neutral on running a Standard course (I don't think I will get to the love part, but that is OK).

The work in the last year has involved so much focused work on:
  • My timing, trusting my training, cueing and going.
  • Learning better ways to cue
  • Hearing "your late" over and over
  • Timing tons of handling techniques to see what is the fastest for Tangle
  • Teaching Tangle greater commitment
  • Hearing "your late" over and over 
  • Learning how to cue lines, not obstacles
  • Increasing Tangle love to chasing me
  • Hearing "your late" over and over 
  • Focused retraining on contacts
  • Verbals
  • Proofing weaves
It feels like the list could go on and on, but I think those were the biggies for us.  I am proud that I am a better handler, better training, and I believe that it is making me a better teacher.

Here is our Standard run from today.

Also, so Hoot isn't left out, this clip shows how she has benefited from this hard work.  I trusted my training!!