Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jump Wraps

There are many ways to perform a sequence, as evidenced by this "Jump Wraps" video put together by Steve Schwarz.  The video also demonstrates how it's always important to "have the dog's head", holding onto that "psychic leash" I blogged about last fall, which became the basis for my Handling Fundamentals class. You can almost see the leash in this video.

Steve can back wave his dog over a jump while facing the other direction, and he's not afraid of the blind cross either.  Furthermore, he shows that even a border collie can be made to collect, to run at a measured pace rather than full out, using closely placed obstacles and short sequences.

Check this out:

Exercise 1.  I set the first sequence up at my Wednesday night Intermediate Beginners class, thinking to further train all the various maneuvers, but it never got traction.  Not sure why.  We moved on to running segments of an Excellent jumpers course, because it seems students at the lower levels want to run and have fun with their dogs more than they want to train specific handling skills, do their flatwork, etc.  My fear is that bad habits develop this way which can wreck havoc later on if they decide to compete.  It's hard to strike a proper balance in a 1 hour class.

So, I've decided to share this video and blog post with my students, maybe inspire and encourage them to set up these sequences in their own yards and practice on their own time. Most of them have some jumps and weave poles at home, and they can substitute another jump for the tunnel.  There are 7 different handling maneuvers in Exercise 1.  If they did 10 minutes a day without a dog, then 10 minutes with a dog, in no time they would be experts and having more fun pursuing titles than they can even imagine right now.

Upwards and onward!

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