Monday, May 16, 2011

"Start Line Set Up" Trick

If you've been to an agility trial, the chances are good that you've seen at least one handler set up their dog at the start by having them pop from between their legs. Looks pretty cute, right? It also can be effective at getting the dog's attention focused. It can help to get them into the mind set of listening to what you say before you even start the course. And it just looks neat. I've thought it was cute, but never really though about trying it with my dogs. Then the trick was up as the Smooth Sailing Agility blog trick of the week. Not one to completely shy away from a challenge, I decided to go for it.

Before I post the video, I will add a few caveats. This is a trick that I will NOT be doing at an agility trial or practice. Due to the size of my dogs, it's not terribly comfortable for me and it's not entirely practical for them. With that in mind, I basically just took Heffner through to the point where he was pretty easily going through my legs with luring. I tried using the clicker, but I need more hands and coordination. It was pretty ugly when I tried to use the clicker. Pretty sure that neither dog could figure out what the heck I was doing!

Bess started off actually being a bit weirded out by my request to go through my legs and it took a few sessions before should would fairly willingly do it. Since she's a few inches shorter than Heffner, I did have her start sitting towards the end.

The trick is by no means polished, but it was entertaining to attempt. I left in a few of the moments where it was obvious that I was having more difficulty with this than the dogs were.;0)


Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Oh come on, that would be awesome if you did that at a trial!!!!

Lindsay said...

Considering the luck I've had with Bess lately, she would land me on my butt in the dirt while she ran around the ring!

4-legged Wiums said...

so cool! well done :) One of the girls I do agility with, has her dog reverse (so from in front of her) back between her legs, then sit - so the dog doesn't actually have to go through your legs. Could be another thing you could try, so it's just their bum on the ground between your feet?
- Helen :)

Crystal said...

I keep wanting to train my dogs to do this trick, but never seem to get around to actually doing it.

Kennedy said...

I forget how tall the boys can be until I see how high on your toes you had to get with Heffner. lol. I almost thought you'd have to do this trick "on blocks." lol

Good job.

Mango said...

I do that one with Mango, but have given up on adding the sit. Your dogs have a brisker sit than he does. With Mango, by the time he settles, he's been shifting and bumping enough to knock me off my feet, like when your dog stopped halfway through. I practice on and off just for fun. I figure the exercise of ducking down a bit is good for his rear quarters.

Christine said...

My first agility instructor INSISTED that I do this with Sadie! She's "only" 33", but that just wasn't gonna happen. We have enough issues without me falling on my a$$!

Lincoln said...

Awww that's great !! Well done you two ! I 've just learned how to do it a few weeks ago, and I love it now !


Lexi and Jasper the Danes said...

That's awesome! Our human is teaching us to go through her legs at the moment :) Our other human laughs at her becuase she is such a shortie, *hehe* and we aren't even huge danes ;)

Licks and lots of slobber,
Lexi and Jasper the Danes