Yes, to have your dog sit or stand at the start line for an agility run, is the question. It seems kind of trivial until you really think about it. It can really help or hinder depending on your dog. If you have a dog who may try and cheat and start before you release them, having them in a sit or even a down could give you an added second or two to adjust to the fact that your dog has just started the timer! Or maybe they're even less likely to break their stay if they're in a sit.
Having your dog stand at the start kind of has them ready for motion. It's one less obstacle, so to speak, in their way for starting the course. If your dog is getting a little tired, it's warm out, or they're less motivated, a standing stay may be the way to go.
I've been thinking about this more specifically this weekend. As with many things, I handle my dogs differently. I've decided that having Heffner in a standing stay really works better for him (I used to always put him into a sit stay). He's not prone to breaking his start line stay and he just seems to perform better from the standing position.
With Bess, I definitely get her started in a sit stay. She is really good at holding her stays, so I'm not concerned about her breaking. What I do want is a little more delay with her so that she doesn't just go tearing around the course without me!LOL It also seems to make her think a little bit more and focus a little more on me.
That's just my two cents! Anyone else have some pearls of wisdom for how they handle their dog(s)?
I also have to brag a little bit about Heffner tonight at his agility class.:O) He's doing soooooo well handling working around dogs that he used to react a whole lot to! It's now rare that I ask anyone to move their dogs for fear that Heffner might fixate on them. He's working REALLY well in really close proximity to other dogs. He acts as though they're really not worth his time to pay attention to. This is a HUGE change!! He was even better at the trial as well. Acting like he really didn't care about all the other dogs around him. He just did his thing and that was that!