Clean Run Handling Issue

23 May 2005Steve Schwarz

As I’ve mentioned before,

Clean Run Magazineis one of the best sources for up to date Agility information. The May 2005 issues is a special "Handling Issue" and is packed with useful information.

Here are some highlights:

  • The "Sallie Sports Vet" (Dr. Christine Zink) article has a good sequence of pictures showing what happens when a dog lands on the wrong Lead Leg after a jump. If you are interested in Lead Leg you might also be interested in this short video I createddemonstrating Milo changing his Lead Leg.
  • Clean Run Handling Issue May 2005
  • Linda Mecklenburg's tour de force article called "Achieving a Balance" was a quite "technical" read (at least for Clean Run). She thoroughly covered all the aspects of a Handler's communication with their dog when running a course. She provides what I'd call a "grammar" for the body cues (motion, physical cues, and position) and verbal cues we use to communicate with our canine teammates. I don't know that the article really discussed the "balance" mentioned in the title, but Linda provides numerous good examples of how these cues can be used and combined in various circumstances. This is a must read article for any handler. I'll have to read this a couple more times to get the most out of it.
  • "Ask the Experts" discusses pre-cueing FrontCrosses Learning the Front Cross - VideoFront Cross. It has some good photo sequences of handlers crossing too early, too late, and not on the Handler Line Using the Handler Line - Front/Rear/Blind Cross LineHandler Line - Front/Rear/Blind Cross Line. Although they don't use the Handler Line terminology...
  • Tracy Sklenar has a discussion of using the "False Turn" Reverse Flow Pivot on course and a second pictorial article about using the outside arm as a cue for coming in to the handler for the RFP. I'm not sure I'm entirely sold on using only the outside arm across the chest for this purpose. I've used both the the outside arm across the chest and a reach back with a shoulder dip of the inside arm to bring my dogs in to me on the Serpentine Serpentine Handling TechniquesSerpentine Sequence. I think a point missing in these discussions is that this cue is equivalent to performing a Front Cross over the jump (on the landing side of the jump) so the arm motions are those you'd use if you were performing the Front Cross. I think I'll do a future article exploring this - I'm not sure these are different concepts.
  • Susan Garrett provides a good and thorough description of how to perform Front Crosses and what the handler has to consider. Again I'd have liked to see discussion of where to place the cross relative to the two jumps. For me, learning a guideline about where to locate the cross was very helpful.
  • Deborah Jones wrote a good article called "The Controversial Blind Cross". I've wanted to write an article called "Are Blind Crosses Really Evil?" ever since I started this website... Read this article and I'll leave you to make your own decision.
  • Jane Simmons-Moake wrote two articles about Rear Crosses (one about layering Rear Crosses). I think she left out the point that sometimes a Rear Cross is used by the handler to change sides on the dog and other times it is used to aid in turning (or changing leads and turning) the dog (and possibly also for the handler to change sides). To me an important part of executing the Rear Cross is using the inside arm to draw the dog past the handler. This motion also helps indicate to the dog what direction they should be moving and helps remove the possibility of spinning the dog after the Rear Cross... yet another website article possibility.
  • There are a really good set of pictorial explanations of many of Agility cross maneuvers by Nancy Gyes. This is a well presented article with great photo sequences.

There are even more articles I haven’t outlined. You’ve got to borrow or buy this issue. If you don’t yet have a subscription to Clean Run get one now. Maybe you can ask if they can start your subscription with this really good Handling Issue.

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