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I'm doing agiity with my first BC. He's now 3 yrs old and has a novice title. He's speeding up now at the trials (more focused, does'nt wander off on me) and now I'm having a bit of a hard time keeping up with him. Either I'll have to get fitter or develop a more "remote control" style of handling. Do BC agility handlers often adopt this style? It seems to fit more with the way the shepherds do herding with them. Is there any info. on that type of handling?


Catherine, NY

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Learn distance handling, you will never keep up with your dog. In fact, the faster you go, the faster they are likely to go. Sometimes I have to quit moving altogether to slow Daphne down. Congrats on the title, we're still working on our first Q!



Cindy & Daphne

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Hi Catherine


Likewise - congratulations on your title. It's a great feeling isn't it.


I just went to an agility workshop a couple weekends ago - run by ADAC, which is an Australian sister organization of NADAC. Part of their whole philosophy of training is to teach the dog very early on (but they said you could retrain a traditionally trained dog) to work away from the handler, because the handler can never work as fast as the dog - especially a BC. So you might try and find a NADAC club somewhere near you and maybe talk to them about working on distance control. Their main website is http://www.nadac.com.





[This message has been edited by Tassie (edited 09-20-2002).]

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Thanks Cindy, Daphne and Barb.

I will try and do some distance handling.

Maybe I can find a NADAC club in Westchester, NY.

Ironically, I went for my first open trial run today and it was so hot and humid that both me and the dog were half dead by the time we ran, so speed was'nt an issue this time - we were both wilted. There was no water there to cool us down so I had to leave without even trying the jumpers.

Hoping to find a distance handling person relatively near to Yonkers, NY.

All the best,


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That is awesome-a title and needing to learn distance handling.Yep with Belle I learned she does better if I just stand or walk and extremely quickly say the next obstacles or so.I've learned to name the next obstacle as she is finishing the first.You learn "think fast,speak fast".Gambler's in NADAC will be great for you making your dog work at a distance because you have to be behind a line and command.Yep,don't try to keep up but take advanyage of this and call the obstacles out as your dog runs a distance.If not already taught also-teach the dog "turn right/turn left".Way to go,,after 1 year of hit and miss trialing/training we got our first Q in standard and Gamblers.I love Gamblers-it's a challenge for making them work at a distance.


Sue Barta


Rogers,MN www.bartasborders.com

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Thanks Sue,

I'm glad to know I'm not just being lazy!

In my current indoor class, our teacher thinks the dog is slow enough for me to to make front-crosses ahead of him at weave polls etc. but she does'nt know what happens when we go to a trial and he suddenly speeds up after the first few obsticles. Added to this, he does'nt LOOK fast because he is unusually long-legged for a bc (a "lassie" type in a tuxedo) but whn he gets into it, he can cover ground terribley quickly.


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Catherine, I too know what you mean! No matter how fit I get (OK, I have a ways to go there...), I could never keep up. Distance is a wonderful thing! And NADAC is great at it. If you can't find a club nearby that "specializes" in it, check out NADAC seminars or camps. Great way to practice!


I agree with the front crosses - they are tough with a fast dog! But at times they are extremely useful. However, we haven't quite gotten the timing AND location (of where I need to be) down just yet. This is something that will take us lots and lots of practice - preferably with someone watching who can help (though usually all they need to say is, "you were too late with your command" or "you were too late with your body movement" !!)


Meanwhile, we've been working on rear crosses to turn the dog. This has generally worked well except on double or triple jumps - sometimes a rear cross there caused the dog to turn and look at me, and the bar went falling down. So now we practice them! It has improved a lot.


To work on simple distance: Start with a simple line of jumps - two at first, then three, then however many you can do! Throw your toy (or treat, maybe in a food tube) out beyond the last jump as the dog gets close to committing to it. Most courses finish this way, and by then, I'm so out of breath, I couldn't possibly keep up! It's helpful if you have a "helper" who can grab the toy if the dog skirts the last jump; the advantage of a food tube is that the dog doesn't get the reward until you give it to her; but she gets the "instant gratification" of picking it up and knowing she'll get the treat if she performed correctly.


In case you don't know about food tubes: the commercial ones are clear plastic tubes, generally with a colored cap on each end.

But you could use anything you don't mind the dog picking up: once she's figured out it contains food, she'll go get it! A small tupperware container, a film tube - as long as she won't swallow it! - or anything you can get into quickly would work.


After that, direction becomes important. Say there's a line of jumps, and the dog needs to take two of the three, then turn one way or another. Folks use a lot of different things. I could never keep "right" and "left" straight in the heat of the moment, though some use it successfully all the time, and some people just use it at critical moments (we're working on this stage of it!). I've mostly found that a "here" (for "come in the direction I am") or and "out" (for "go in the opposite direction from where I am" OR "go beyond the nearest obstacle to the next one out."), followed by the obstacle command. Sometimes it actually works!!


Best of luck. Let us know how you progress!




[This message has been edited by diane allen (edited 09-30-2002).]

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