Jump to content
BC Boards

Recommended Posts

What do you all use as a start line stay position? Sit? Stand? Down? And what is your reason for your choice?

 

I have always used a sit and I am thinking about not using a sit with Bandit. I don't want a strong default sit on him (because of other sports).

 

I'm not 100% decided, but I have worked very hard at teaching him to remain standing when I position him. I am thinking a down might be the clearest criteria. But is that a good way for a fast dog to start?

 

Thoughts? Experiences? I'd love to hear all of it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use nothing at all with Kylie if I can avoid it, because the startline stay demotivates the heck out of her. We've also had to move to running contacts, or are working on it, because any full stop on the course flattens her. For her we, if at all possible, use a sling-shot start or running start. If we do use a start line stay, I leave her standing.

 

Molly I fully plan on leaving in a down. I'll adjust if necessary, but for right now it's my plan based on HER preference for waiting for exciting things in a crouch and her speed at take off from that; it's motivating, not demotivating.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think of the 3 positions the sit is the hardest for the dog to get momentum.

 

My daughter used to start her dog from a down, mainly because of the extra control it gave her. He was fast to the first jump but not as fast as she would have liked. She has since retrained him from a stand and his acceleration has improved.

 

For a smaller dog the down can present the temptation to go under the first jump, although maybe not so much with your lower jump heights.

 

I am going to train my pup from a stand and if you think about it a working bred dog will normally accelerate from a down/crouch or a stand.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I plan to start Rook from a down.

 

I originally thought stand but I'm changing my mind based on his personality. While we've worked on a stand stay inside away from agility equipment and he's great. I can run off, throw toys, etc. BUT, when he starts working (basic foundation work with tunnels and some wraps around wings as well as some jump grids with jump bumps (Susan Salo) he goes all slinky and crouchy and getting him to hold a sit or stand is almost impossible - it is as if a magnet is pulling him to the ground - he doesn't move forward but just melts into the ground :rolleyes:. I firmly believe in picking your battles and this isn't one I choose to fight.

 

If you start them from a down then you need to set them back further from the jump so that they can stand up and take a stride before taking the stride that would prepare them for the jump. I believe SS may actually give a distance and if I come across it I will share it with you. It might be about 3 feet more. Which, depending upon the venues and facilities you show in could possibly be a problem if you don't have enough room to place them far enough back.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I start nova from a sit-my choice, and hobbs from a down, his choice. I prefer one or the other of these to a stand because I know the dog will not move off from where I left them (mostly LOL). if I were to leave them in a stand I feel they may creep up or wander sideways in an attempt to keep me in a sight line rather than wait for my command. nova is very fast, hobbs, not yet. I don't think sitting affects nova's speed at all. if I were I world quality competitor it might be important to me to shave as much time as possible off all aspects of my run, but that ain't us!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dogs can creep from all three positions if the criteria are not clear. I was surprised how little time it took to retrain ours to a stand and how solid he is in that position, but creeping has never been tolerated.

 

I know one top grade dog that starts in a sit and scoots as if it's anal glands need emptying.

 

Whether a sit start is detrimental to a dog's speed depends on the speed it can reach by the time it triggers the timing. I just feel that for a lot of collies a sit is not as natural a position as a stand or a down since it requires an extra change of position for the dog to get into a position to move.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I put Torque in a sit, and *usually* he will hold it IF I hold my hand up and keep telling him to sit. [He is also one of those dogs that will have a great start-line stay in practice, but scoots forward at a trial.] At the last trial, I didn't set him back far enough and was not demanding enough that he stay - and in the end, he had scooted up to a position so close to the first jump that when he started, he dropped the first bar. Bah! When possible, I also like to set him up far enough back that he takes at least 2-3 strides before the first obstacle so that he is pretty much at full speed when he passes the start timer. (thus shaving a fraction of a second from his time). And lastly, even though I put him in a sit, he often rises to a crouch or a stand (while staying in the same spot) so he is not really starting from a sit.

 

I don't think that you will have to worry about demotivation with Bandit, but I have a friend who has a dog demotivated by a start-line stay, and she uses a slingshot start. I think it is good to practice those when the set-up allows since you never know when you might need it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been re-watching Susan Salos foundation jumping DVDs and she starts the dogs from an upright sit as she feels it gives the dogs the most balanced start for a jump. Having watched carefully some of the dogs in my club working some of these exercises they really are more balanced and land better when starting from a nice sit, rather than many of the typical border collie creeps and stretches. She made particular mention of the border collie tendency to lean into the sit. As the first obstacle is often a jump this is something worth considering.

I usually use a sit, for my big boy it gives him a more powerful start than a down that seems to take more effort, and I wanted a clear position, which I felt a stand did not provide.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course not all agility dogs are working bred and not all working bred dogs have the same conformation. Level of drive will vary greatly too so ultimately the position chosen should be the one that suits the dog in question best.

 

Greg Derrett has been at the top forever and uses a stand, Lisa Frick (triple world champion) a down, Silvia Trkman seems to vary but I've seen her start a collie from a sit. I'm sure they all have excellent reasons for their choice. Take your pick but available space could be an issue, it certainly would be for us in the UK, especially indoors. You may not be able to set your dog far enough back to get up to speed for the first jump.

 

I don't agree that a stand is any less clear for a dog though. It's just a position like any other to be maintained until told otherwise. They all depend on not allowing your criteria to slip - ever. "Oh all right then" broken starts drive me nuts and I want to go into the ring and give the handler a good shake.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me, based on what all of you have said, that he could actually learn all three start line behaviors - sit, down, stand - and I could vary them and choose based on what ends up working best for him. He will also learn a sling shot. At the end of his Agility career, I was using a sling shot with Dean at class and it was an absolute blast. It's a great tool to have on some courses.

 

Right now I need something to work on in Foundation class, and I'm thinking I am going to go with the down. That way we can avoid the default sit while I solidify the stand behavior in the other sports, and I think it is a clearer criteria for a very young dog than the stand.

 

But why not, in the long run, actually have him learn to start from a sit, start from a stand, and start from a down? (In training, I mean, not necessarily in competition) That actually might make the basic criteria (stay until released as I lead out) even clearer than if the behavior is position dependent and we might avoid some of the creepy crouchy stuff.

 

Just musing here. In the end, that might just make it easiest to see what will work out best for him.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I don't agree that a stand is any less clear for a dog though. It's just a position like any other to be maintained until told otherwise. They all depend on not allowing your criteria to slip - ever. "Oh all right then" broken starts drive me nuts and I want to go into the ring and give the handler a good shake.

 

I concur. Especially now that I am working in a sport where a default stand is desired most of the time. The stand as we stop and the stand-wait is trained just as a sit would be in the same context. We use a platform initially to define the criteria and that seems to help a great deal. The criteria for the stand can become very clear to the dog.

 

I do think that for a very green dog, the concept of "wait until released" may be a good deal easier if rump, or entire body, is planted on the ground. But in the long run, I expect the criteria for a stand-wait to be just as clear as a sit or down.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't agree that a stand is any less clear for a dog though. It's just a position like any other to be maintained until told otherwise. They all depend on not allowing your criteria to slip - ever. "Oh all right then" broken starts drive me nuts and I want to go into the ring and give the handler a good shake.

I am what could be described as a lazy trainer, a sit for me is a very clear cut criteria to maintain, a stand less so, I did not mean to imply that it would not work for others. I do use a stand in training when we are repeating a sequence due to my inability to get it right as I think it is less effort for the dog, and there is no formal lead out.

I fully agree with you about broken starts, when I started competing with R I spent a year sacrificing the possibility of a Q by reinforcing that start line stay in NADAC where I could train in the ring. The number of times I have been complimented on my nice start line stay is silly as most people could have one if they stuck with their criteria.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure that in more advanced obedience classes in the past there used to be a Stand Stay exercise here but it disappeared during my long absence from the dog world. I'm told by some that it was because obedience handlers thought it was hard to teach. If that isn't the case I don't know why it went. I don't see it as any more advanced than a sit or a down myself.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

There was an article in Clean Run magazine quite awhile ago (8 years maybe?) about just this subject, I believe written by Chris Zink. Her conclusion was that for *most* dogs, an upright SIT was the best for getting up speed and keeping the first bar up. Dogs power off their back legs to jump (at least they should), and they should *always* be set up as far as needed back from the first jump. This distance will vary from dog to dog - I know how far my dog needs to take three full strides, which is what he should get before the first jump. That's not always possible, given ring sizes, but I try. (I've often asked to move a ring rope, when it's easy to do so, to have more room - preferably before the class starts!)

 

Creeping can happen in any position, though I think it's more likely in a stand.

 

Your mileage may vary, of course....

 

diane

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a 2 part start line routine -- a down stay, followed by an "are you ready" question from me, which my dog was supposed to answer by barking (and increasing drive...). Now I put him in a down stay and he starts barking. He's plenty fast from a down.

 

And since I turn my back on my dogs when walking away, I wasn't always seeing them creep. So now when I take off their leashes/harnesses I drop those at my dog's shoulders instead of throwing them at the leash runner. If the dog has moved forward significantly, I can see it and fix it. (I do try to leash run one class each trial to make up for being a pain for other leash-runners. And I probably still can't see if the dog creeps forward just a couple of inches.) But the problem is getting under control.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Starting some foundation work with Risk there is a distinct difference between his stand wait (twitching ready to go while rooted to the spot) and leaving him in a sit where he seems to have less idea that he might be asked to burst into speed.

 

I'm not sure whether it's something we've taught or whether we have just gone along with his personal inclination. Probably the latter, I think, since we haven't done much in the way of training a wait either way.

 

Creeping wouldn't be tolerated whatever position he was left in.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mum24dog, how do you identify when your dog is creeping? I don't want to have to back up or maintain eye contact the entirety of my leadout -- I think doing so adds pressure to a dog, or really backs off a soft dog (and one of mine is exceptionally ditzy and soft). The leash marker is the best I've found, though I am trying to move away from it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mum24dog, how do you identify when your dog is creeping? I don't want to have to back up or maintain eye contact the entirety of my leadout -- I think doing so adds pressure to a dog, or really backs off a soft dog (and one of mine is exceptionally ditzy and soft). The leash marker is the best I've found, though I am trying to move away from it.

 

My role in competition at present is as my daughter's groom. We've never had a creeper as such but she seems to know if her dog has moved as he may on rare occasions. I think it must just be a corner of the eye thing or just knowing where she left him. She just runs away from him until she gets where she wants to be to release him.There's no question about it, she expects him to stay so he does in the vast majority of cases.

 

I agree with you about not backing away and intimidating a dog to stay.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did tons of recalls as a pup even before she started Agility. This got her to were she would stay while I walked away from her an stayed until I called her to me. I would vary the time of when I turned to face her and called. I also did not stand still. I would move around, clap my hands, jumping jacks, whistle or say words whatever until I used her break If she did break I would just pup her back in place an tell her stay and try again.

With Her I can have any distance lead out I want.

I do have to watch where I place her as if too far back she will knock bar, if she gets too much speed before that first jump.

I have seen plenty of dogs at a trial that will creep forward.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did tons of recalls as a pup even before she started Agility. This got her to were she would stay while I walked away from her an stayed until I called her to me. I would vary the time of when I turned to face her and called. I also did not stand still. I would move around, clap my hands, jumping jacks, whistle or say words whatever until I used her break If she did break I would just pup her back in place an tell her stay and try again.

With Her I can have any distance lead out I want.

I do have to watch where I place her as if too far back she will knock bar, if she gets too much speed before that first jump.

I have seen plenty of dogs at a trial that will creep forward.

I can do the same with my dog when we are setting up to run a course while training or at a class. Jump around, run forward and backward, etc. Lots of proofing. At a trial, I have a different dog. He creeps. There is no getting around it. So I just deal with it by holding up my hand to keep him from creeping. Usually, I also have to add a verbal "Sit" or "Stay". Personally, I think it is a small issue which is easily managed at the few trials I enter each year. -- which may be part of the problem since he is not 'trial-savvy'. Way too much adrenaline in his little body.

 

I have a similar problem with weaves: at practice or at class, he is 100% perfect even if I peel off, or stop or even run back into him while he is weaving. In a trial, I have learned that I have to stay with him in the weaves or if I even begin to disconnect before the last pole, he will come out to join me running towards the next obstacle. My friends and instructor are always as surprised as I am since he is so good, except at a trial. This one bothers me more.

 

I don't see any reason to get mad at him for trying sooo hard in a trial situation. I just deal with it, and then go home and work on it some more. I have been told that he should get to more trials every year, which would be nice, but probably not going to happen with my schedule.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since I really wasn't sure what position Rex takes at the start line, l looked at video from the last 6 or so trials. I guess I only care that he stays, since that's all I tell him when I leave him on the start line. Most of the time, he chooses to sit, but the odd time, he stands, and more than a few times, he changes position from a sit to a stand. I'm sure the really fastidious trainer would be tearing her hair out at the lack of clarity LOL! Still, he broke one start line in 2014, and ripped one start line bar, so I'm going to go with it. :D

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...