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Training Exercises: Have a Nice Day!

Elizabeth Dott shares the first in a series based on this smiling course. 


This course utilizes box work, tunnel discriminations, serpentines and threadles. There are loads of different ways to run it!



Section 1
#1 to #4 

I would opt to start my dog on my left through the box and back around to #4. Make sure to pay attention to your shoulder position as your dog goes through the box so you are not signaling #14 instead of making a turn and coming to the right to #3.

Section 2
#4 to #8

I would wrap my dog to the right, front crossing (changing sides in front of my dog by turning to face him) to put my dog on my right to work the outside line back to the tunnel. I like having the handler running on the outside (with the dog on the right) better because the handler can keep driving the line using lateral motion. If you run with your dog on your left, this might cause him to curl back to you, signaling the wrong side of the tunnel.

Section 3
#8 to #13

Using a blind cross (changing sides in front of the dog by turning my back to him) or front cross out of the tunnel, I would want to execute a side change so my dog is now on my right to go back through the box. Remember to pay attention to your shoulders and forward motion to keep your dog from taking #15 after #10. After #11, I am going to use a rear cross (cross behind my dog) to keep him from curling into me after #12 and taking the wrong side of the tunnel. A simple rear cross after #12 will help draw your dog to the appropriate side. 

Section 4
#13 to #16 

Keeping my dog on my right, I am going to quickly head down the line driving forward, signaling extension back through the box. The faster I run, keeping as straight down the line as I can, the less chance my dog will look at the off-course jumps when we head through the box a third time. 

So, how many ways can you find to run this course? Stay tuned for next week's edition with new challenges. Until then, Have a Nice Day!

This article is part of USDAA's Training Tuesday series that is appearing on USDAA's facebook page. We encourage you to discuss this course on our facebook and to upload videos of your class or training group playing this game. If you have a facebook account, please join in the fun here: https://www.facebook.com/USDAA.

Elizabeth Dott has been competing in agility since 1993. She owns Legendary Agility Training (named after her heart dog, Legend) in Altamonte Springs, Florida. She has competed at the national Level and has put several championships on her dogs over the years. She has also helped many of her students achieve their own championships as well. In addition, Elizabeth runs Legendary Dog Designs and makes custom collars and leashes with agility in mind. She can be reached for questions or classes at agilebc4me@gmail.com.

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