June 18, 2012

Puppy: Accel/Decel + Angled Approaches

After introducing your dog to acceleration and deceleration and angled approaches, you are ready to combine these two elements on some short sequences, demonstrated in the video below by 11 month old border collie Miriya. These drills focus on both speed (acceleration) and tight turns (deceleration).

Acceleration Exercise: throw toy/food at R


Deceleration Exercise #1: give food/toy from hand at R


Deceleration Exercise #2: give food/toy from hand at R

Helpful Tips
1. Great performance DEMANDS an amazing, exciting reward.
2. Ignore mistakes, including refusals and dropped bars. I like to give my dog some calm verbal praise and give them a cue (like a sit or hand touch) that I can reward before the next repetition.
3. Wide turns are NOT a mistake; be sure to hold your position and give your reward in the appropriate spot. With practice, your dog will turn tighter because this will get them to their toy/food faster, as long as you consistently reward in the same spot. For acceleration, the toy should appear ahead of the dog, away from you. For deceleration, the toy should appear ON YOU. You will see this in the video.
4. Be sure to run past the last jump before the tunnel. You may be tempted to add distance by creating a send over the jumps to the tunnel. When you send your dog on to the tunnel as you slow down, you weaken your super awesome turns by teaching your dog to ignore your deceleration cue. If you feel you need to send your dogs forward to tunnels because your dog is too fast for you, that’s okay, but know that you will struggle to create tight turns with handler motion alone (you will probably need to teach a verbal turning cue).

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