Subtitle: The Road to a Perfect Partnership
Author: Moe Strenfel
Format: DVD, 3 discs, NTSC format
Running Time: 3 hours, 8 minutes
Bonus Materials: 4 training articles in PDF format
Release Date: 2009
To achieve your goals in agility, you need a solid working relationship with your dog and a clear and consistent communication system, often referred to as a "handling system." A handling system is no more than a set of verbal and physical cues that tell your dog what you want him to do next. Conflicting cues or missing links in your communication system will limit what your team can achieve in the sport by causing a lack of confidence (the dog slows down, stops, or even leaves the ring) or frustration (the dog spins, barks, or tries to bite the handler). With clarity and consistency in your communication system, your dog will be more confident, focused, and sure of his job, which will allow you and the dog not only to achieve more, but also to enjoy the game more.
The foundation of this communication system must be taught on the ground before you teach any piece of agility equipment. Teaching obstacles before you have a communication system in place is like driving a car with no steering wheel, no gas pedal, and no brakes—you are at the mercy of the driver, which in this case is your dog. The groundwork exercises in Foundation Training for Agility will put you in the driver's seat. Whether you are starting to train a new puppy for agility or you need to brush up on some skills with an experienced dog, you'll find suitable groundwork exercises for dogs at any level in this DVD. There is even a bonus section on balance, strength, and coordination work.
Foundation Training for Agility will help you teach your dog each of the following critical foundation skills:
- Responding to his name
- Building focus
- Releasing only on a verbal cue
- Lining up at your side on a parallel path
- Hand touches
- Rock-solid stays with duration, distraction, and distance
- Restrained recalls and chase-me games
- Recalls with self-control (stays)
- Front cross on the ground
- Circle work (also referred to as running work or flatwork)
- Shoulder-pull turn
- Rear cross on the ground
- Staying on a parallel path to you and not cutting behind you
- Moving ahead of you on a parallel path on a verbal Go cue
- Working with lateral distance away from you
Disc 1 covers basic skills, Disc 2 covers handling skills, and Disc 3 covers physical skills.
About the Author
Moe Strenfel teaches using operant conditioning for both team members. She got involved in competitive agility 10 years ago and has put USDAA and AKC titles on four different breeds: Border Collie, Mini Aussie, Whippet, and Boxer. Her Whippet, ADCH MACH Scorch, was the number one AKC agility Whippet for 2006 and 2007. Moe lectured at Clean Run Instructor Camp 2007-2008, and currently instructs for Power Paws Agility in San Jose, California. She is available for agility workshops, seminars, and video consultation. Contact her through her website: www.momentumdogsports.com.