Level 1A – Week 2
Please note that this article contains several contact training steps. For Week 2 of class you should focus only on Steps 1 and 2. Don’t try to work ahead until your instructor has shown you how to do the later steps.
This article describes the 12 basic handling skills. These are the ‘building blocks’ that can be combined to get you and your dog around just about any agility course, including handling advanced level sequences. This week you learned the first of the 12 skills, the Pull Turn. We will cover the other skills in detail in future class weeks.
The motion-based handling system described in this article is the basis of the handling skills taught at WAG. If you are new to agility, this information may seem a little overwhelming right now – we highly recommend that you revisit this article throughout the class, and you’ll gradually start to see how the pieces fit together as described in the article. By following these motion-based principles, you’ll learn to communicate in your dog’s own language while on the agility course.
For the Pull Turn that you learned this week, the handler’s lateral motion, lack of forward motion, and shoulder turn are all turning cues that most dogs will naturally follow. Running in the new direction after the turn will also further cue the dog to hurry and catch up with you. It’s very natural for the dog to want to turn and chase you when you run away in a new direction.