Thursday, October 02, 2014


Kili and I have been working on something kind of new. It is called a "switch". All it is, is teaching your dog to turn AWAY from you. I didn't take any video of early training but it is easy enough. You start out just walking along with your dog beside you, then with the hand closest to your dog, you use a food lure to turn them away from you (while giving your verbal "switch" cue) and walk in the other direction.

The next step is to ask the dog to take a jump and use your rear cross cue (hand signal) while giving your verbal "switch". This is because a rear cross is essentially a switch, just typically not to the same degree as we will be using the switch. But the rear cross cue will get your dog turning in the appropriate direction. As you progress you can get further and further out from the jump.

What is the point of this? While it does have some applications on Standard or Jumpers courses, it is most useful in the Gamblers game. Gamblers involves distance work where your dog has to take a sequence of obstacles at a distance from you (the distance depends on the level you are competing at). Being at a distance means that you need more communication skills to tell your dog what you want them to do. For example, I may be able to stand right next to the first jump in the sequence, but then I need my dog to land and turn away from me in order to take a tunnel on the other side of the jump. This is where the switch comes in!

You'll notice that we have a distraction for Kili. That's our foster dog, Riana.

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