This video illustrates concepts from the article in the May 2013 issue of Clean Run, "Power Paws Drills" by Nancy Gyes. Nancy says, you CAN train yourself to give cues when you want to give them. In this video you will see me working on training my eye to see when my dog is taking off, jumping, and landing. The exercise is done on a simple symmetrical circle of four jumps. My theory is that if you can make yourself identify the various positions your dog is in while jumping, and actually speak to your dog using perfect timing, then you can choose when you give both verbal and physical cues to your dog on course.
We give cues for our dog to go on, to come, to collect, to turn, and to identify specific obstacles (tunnels, weaves, jumps, etc). You need to plan when you will give those cues and work on seeing where your dog is in relationship to yourself and the obstacles. Normally we want to give cues to our dog before an obstacle so he has time to process hearing our words, seeing our movements, and then respond appropriately. If our timing isn't good those cues are often too late and sometimes too early. If you know your dog will knock the bar of a spread if you yell "Go" on top of the jump, then you can train yourself to notice when your dog's feet have hit the ground before you speak. If you find you are late with your motion cues and want to give them when your dog's feet are on the ground before jumping, then you can train yourself to do so. Learn how to watch your dog and practice when to give information while working simple exercises like this circle.
You can use any kind of verbal cue on this exercise which won't greatly interfere with your dog continuing around the circle. I don't use a lot of verbal jump cues, but I chose the verbal cue of "Hup" to demonstrate this exercise because it is short and I can get the word out quickly. After you do the three exercises of calling first over the bar, and then on landing, and finishing with takeoff, you could also practice giving your verbal cue when your dog is on a stride centered half way between jumps which is a more appropriate place for a verbal cue.