Saturday, 3 August 2013

Verbal Commands in Dog Agility

I would LOVE to be one of those silent handlers who just points at an obstacle and the dog understands....  but as that is not the case, this is a post about the verbal instructions that I try to give Patsy.

It seems that the choice of words used to instruct the dog is related to where you train and local fashions.  Obviously all that matters is that the handler and the dog are speaking the same language!

So these are words I use with Patsy.  Some are my own, and others are more widely used, (I've put in brackets words I've heard others use):

Obstacles:  Patsy can recognise most of these words and select the right obstacle.  
Jump            (Over)
Tunnel          (Through ---- Usually pronounced Throooooooooo!)
A                 (A-frame / Walk-on)
Dogwalk      (Walk / Walk-on)
Bendy-bendy (Weave, Wee Wee Wee or Weeeeeeeeee!)

I don't differentiate between soft tunnels and round ones.  Perhaps I should?

Directionals and other Instructions:
Leave it!       This one is especially important  for me if a contact is anywhere close to the next obstacle!
Out               Used to send her away to a far jump or around a wing to jump coming back to me
Go! Go!        To send her on down an obvious line of jumps ahead of me. Usually interspersed with Jump!
Close           Run on my left side (this is not yet fully understood by Patsy!)
Side             Run on my right side (ditto)
Switch!        Flip behind me to run on the other side. (She's starting to get this one.)
Here!           To call her back towards me again.

The Right and Left Dilemma:
I haven't been good about teaching right and left.  I wish they came second nature to me, but my problem with trying to teach this is that in the heat of the moment I am very likely to call the wrong one!  I should perhaps start with Finn and see if we can learn this one together!!

And to Finish:  Here's Patsy going "Bendy! Bendy! Bendy!"  

I just found this much easier to keep repeating than "Weave! Weave! Weave!"  or even "Wee Wee Wee"

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