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When I first started, the Derrett System was "in", too. The "rules" bothered me a lot. Especially the whole, "never let your dog cross behind you" rule. My dogs cross behind me for Freestyle. It's no big!! Just don't ask for it when you don't want it!!


Anyway, toward the end of Maddie's Agility career, but before Tessa, my instructor went away to a week long workshop and came back and made us do everything completely different!! Basically, she had learned the Mecklenburg system, and in one fell swoop, that was what we were doing.

I resisted at first, but soon it was apparent that what I was learning was actually working for Maddie, where the Derrett stuff had frustrated her to no end.


With Tessa I learned on the Mecklenburg system, and I pretty much all of the handling I have learned with her is from it.


And it has worked. Not only has Tessa benefitted, but I have managed to go from complete and total clodhopper to pretty competent.


So, I'm sold on it. Not as an "I MUST FOLLOW IT AT ALL COSTS!" kind of thing, but as something that I have enjoyed learning and have found success with.


The One Mind stuff . . . I'm willing to try it. I think we are learning some of it through the Fenzi Academy Agility class.


But, I'm also of an "if it ain't broke . . ." kind of mind, too . . .

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I'm a bit of a dinosaur and need to have a good reason to change but on the other hand I need new challenges and do get rather bored with the same old same old.


Can't deny that European style handling can be graceful to watch and I've never been a fan of the busy busy in your face way of working.


I'll be trying new stuff with my youngster but I have a deep rooted suspicion of anything that is labelled a "system". I never respond well to self publicity and hype.

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The last seminar we had was with a Spanish world team member and what impressed me most about him was how simple he kept everything. Basically everything we did was an adaption of front, rear, and blind crosses, and using both natural (post) and ketchkers for turns. It was just that he pushed the envelope in the different ways of using them, especially his use of rear crosses. There was no new techniques we all knew the basics it was his approach to using them that gave him the edge in competition. We spent a lot of time analysing the dogs path and then figuring out the best way of achieving that, he pushed us all outside our comfort zones, I certainly have a tendency to execute turns based on what I think will be the easiest for me! And not cause an off-course, that weekend we were all forced to trust our dogs and unsurprisingly he was right and most of the dogs did not take the off-course trap we worried about. Luckily he likes Mallorca and will be back and maybe my spanish might have improved a little so I can get even more out of it!

Many of my team mates have a tendency to want to use fancy turns, I walk the same course and think front cross, they end up doing three moves to my one, and this is because of the different ways we have learned agility. My favorite trainers in the States used some version of Linda Mecklburgs motion based handling which suits my way of thinking.

In the UK I have trained with a lady who is getting really into one mind dogs and I find I can execute the techniques and R reads them well BUT I can't ever remember them, it's that walking and chewing gum problem. When I walk the course all those fancy turns go right out of my head and I am back with the basics...

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Honestly, if you asked what move I executed to change sides with the dogs on the course, 9 times out of 10 I couldn't tell you. I could tell you *where* I did, and if you asked me during a walk through I could tell you what I planned to do, but what I actually do is kind of a mystery to me a lot of the time. (I need to start doing videos)

Mind you, again, I haven't even done my first trial yet, and I've only been doing agility at all for 18 months. My head may well stay more clear later, but in the midst of a run I am very much reduced to 'Where is the dog? where does the dog need to be? Where are they going after that?' So I have about a three obstacle brain most of the time. I do know I do a lot of rears and variations on them, though.


And suspect I'll get better as I go.

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I use out for go away from me, around or round for the backside. We are not to the level yet of using backside in competition. A friend of mine used Lalalalala as her cue for backside.

We always video each other so we can go back and see what we did right or wrong. It has really helped.

CptJack I'm with you on I know what I want to do but that's not always what happens.

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Right now Bandit wants to run around everything and take it from the backside. I really should name it and teach taking stuff the regular way as it's opposite.

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