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Handling Drill 6.3.20





Sequence #1


There are a handful of options to try on this sequence.

Option 1 - Threadle Rear on #3 and a rear cross on #5.

Ideally you can lead out around #2, but this will also work if you don't have a lead out (hopefully your threadle cue is also trained well ;) ) When the dog is committed to #2, start your threadle rear cue. Decelerate, rotated in direction you are going next (number 4), use your right hand to cue the threadle and follow through by pointing that hand towards #3. Try to not go closer than half way to #3...the closer to #3 you go, the more likely the dog is to read this as a threadle slice cue and incorrectly turn to the right at #3.

Then rear cross #5, right hand goes towards the center of the bar of #5 as you show convergence behind the dog towards the right wing on #5. This is a decel rear, so I try to show small steps to help the dog know they need to turn back towards #6.

Cue wrap on #6, remember the wrap components - Deceleration (feet should stop moving for a second), Rotation (rotate towards the dog / direction you're going next), Hands (hand closest to the dog points towards the center of the bar), Verbal (repeat your wrap cue until you know the dog is committed). You'll see in the video example that Chip had a wide turn there so I rewarded a few times.

Option 2 - Threadle Rear on #3 and blind cross on #5.

You need to be ahead to blind cross, so if your dog has a good threadle rear send you should be able to get it in. After the dog commits to #3 run towards #5 with dog on your right side, as soon as you can see the dog between the wings of #4 you should execute the blind cross. The blind should be done before the dog jumps #4.

The blind cross gets you a side change, but it doesn't cue the turn from #5-6. So you need to immediately show decel after the blind...it can be a decel shoulder pull, or a reverse spin.


Option 3 - Recall then backside send, rear cross #5.

Lead out to the landing side of #2, facing the backside plane of #3. Right hand points towards the dog, you should connect with them through the wings of the first two jump. Make sure lifting your hand does not release your dog. The hand lift should come first, wait for a second, then release your dog. We want them to see this cue before they start running. As the dog commits to #2 start to move to the backside cue for #3.

When you cue the backside of #3, you can turn with the dog and dog a post turn. Or you can turn away from your dog and cue a spin. The post turn is good for a dog who needs motivation and movement, and spin is good to help cue a tighter turn and keep the handler ahead of the dog.

Then cue the rear cross and wrap the same as option 1.


Option 4 - Recall, then backside send, blind cross between 4 and 5.

Try to leave the backside send as soon as you can so you have time to make it to the blind cross. Then cue the blind and decel on #5 the same as option #2.



Sequence #2 -

This drill is working on 4 different serpentine skills. The focus of this drill is just jumps #4 and #5, so you really only need two jumps to do it.


Extension Serpentine - No side change, dog jumps in extension.

The pink #7 jump is showing an example of where the course would be going next.

With extension serps, you want to connect over the #5 bar with you left hand, but keep your motion going and move towards #6.



Extension Serpentine Blind - Cue a serpentine and then do a blind when the dog is committed. Dog jumps in extension. This time pretend we are going to the green #7 jump next, we need a side change to get there. Give your serp cue and continue moving down the line, when the dog is committed to #5, do a blind cross to pick them up on your right side to cue #6.



Collection Serpentine - No side change, dog jumps in collection to make a tight turn. It is important to have your feet and pointed at the next jump when cueing the serp. Decelerate for a quick second while cueing the serp, to help the dog understand they need to jump in collection and make a tight turn. Move towards #6 when they are committed to #5. While cueing the serp, your feet should be pointed at the next jump, and try to get to the landing side of #5 (at least in the safety circle) to make sure you stay out of the dogs landing zone (if you are in their landing zone you risk them colliding with you or knocking the bar)

If they are making a wide turn and not collecting to stay on your left side...break it down and reward after #5. Take away some speed and put them in it stay after #4, lead out to serp position and reward them for "sticking the landing" in heel position. This is very similar to a recall to heel, review this post if your dog needs more training on that element - https://www.heatheroneillagility.com/post/recall-to-heel





Collection Serpentine with Blind - cue a collection serpentine, then blind cross as the dog commits. Remember your feet need to be pointed at jump 6 as you cue the serpentine, this gives the dog clues about where they are going next. You also want to move to the take off side of #5 and get as close to #6 as possible before the dog takes #5...this helps keep you out of the dogs landing zone.





Sequence 3



You can start with a lead out or a sling shot send to #1. Wrapping to the left at #3 sets a nice line to 4 and 5. You do want to cue good collection on #3, so either a decel cue and a post turn or a reverse spin.

There is still a left turn to cue at #4, you will see Chip go wide in my first attempt at this course. I cue it better by decelerating sooner in my second attempt.

We also want to cue a tight turn on #5 while still staying ahead for the serpentine on 6. You can either send and post turn, or send with a spin (which should let you stay ahead better).

Extension serpentine over #6. Remember you have to be ahead to serpentine, so really send to #5 and leave as soon as you can. Ideally you are halfway to #7 before the dog takes #6 - this lets you stay out of the dog's path and get ahead to cue a slight decel turn on #7.

It is a big distance between #8 and #9, the dogs will have a lot of speed going into 9 and we need to cue a tight turn. This will help set the line to the threadle for 10. You'll see in my video that Chip didn't read the tight turn cue the first time, so I broke it down and rewarded a few times before the second attempt.

Do a decel send to cue the left turn on #12 before cueing a go on 13 and 14...use a target or placed toy at the end to reward the dog for driving ahead of you.




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© 2020 By Heather O'Neill