Across The Feet/Across The Toes

05 Jun 2007Steve Schwarz

Several years ago I came across this interestingly named handling manuver on Guy Blanke’s website. I haven’t found need to use it too often but it can be helpful in situations where you need to set the dog’s line and cross behind the dog afterward. Here is a variation of part of a course Anne Riba setup for us a couple weeks ago as an example:

Across The Feet brings the dog toward the handler and across the handler’s body as the handler typically moves behind the dog in a Rear Cross Learning the Rear CrossRear Cross. The handler’s position serves to set/push on the dog’s line.

In the sequence above it is possible to Post Turn Learning the Post TurnPost Turn/Shoulder Pull/Pivot Turn to the right from the bottom of the dog walk and into the Tunnel and then Rear Cross Learning the Rear CrossRear Cross on the take off to jump 3, but some dogs will have a strong attraction to the off course jump. By handling with the dog on the left and staying parallel to the dog walk and putting the handler between the dog and the jump Across The Feet makes it clear to the dog that the jump isn’t the next obstacle. It is also arguable that this certainty of direction (versus pulling past an obstacle) would result in a faster performance.

I should also mention that the handler could use another Across The Feet when the dog comes out of the tunnel on the way to jump 3 but it would be “gratuitous” since there isn’t a real need to constrain the dog’s path.

Here is a video of a similar sequence where Meeker and I demonstrate Across The Feet and the Post Turn handling methods:

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