The Responsive Dog & Handler
is a two-way street)
related YouTube video links
Daisy's "Kwick Hide Steady" Session (YouTube
Gunny's "Kwick Hide Steady" Drill (YouTube link)
Daisy's was the 1st video where the camera recorded facing the line.
Add to this, a recent
"head camcorder" thread got me thinking of why I'd want to watch a dog run
they are quickly too far away. This led to the realization the most
important part of
often right at the line. “Looking in” from in front would be much
This session was a bit shorter than usual because even 9-10 minutes
on YouTube is too long.
However, since time is the most important factor in the session it's
“watch” the pace.
Daisy ran first. What you don't see is her part of the routine "in
the van". When this all
began, her very first action (to show she was in control) was punch the box
after I unlatched it. Often it would be quick enough to smack a
finger tip. So the
first rule now is "No early punch." If she does, I latch it up and
the van once
and try again. After not "punching", she was expected to sit in the
the unlatched door still closed for a minute.
Next, she exits and sits right outside the box (in the van) while I
put her e-collar on. While
sitting there (alone and loose), I walk slowly around the van once.
After returning, she is
leashed and asked to exit the van to an immediate sit. Then we do
three steps forward and
sit again. This is an old AKC OB class habit which is supposed
to stress who is in
think it works really well in the
The next step is promptly airing and returning to heel where we do
All of the "dance" (as some will call it) is designed to
point out who is in charge of forward
momentum. The rest of the routine is more visible in the
video. When the
ingrained, the standard is to walk slowly at heel
with a loose leash
means the norm for the dog is............."This is what I do
because it's all we ever do.”
I do exit holding blinds with a backward heeling pivot and ask for
an immediate sit.
the idea is to keep her responsive to what I ask and not
This may date me, but think about being like the
Conway character from the Carol
Burnett show – “the slowest man in
Humor at this juncture helps.
The “waiting segments” of the session are to allow the dog to come
to grips with
It has been my experience that many humans do not deal
well with an
adrenalin rush. Dogs
are no different. To a certain extent "how to"
can be learned.
A dog demonstrating "high
anxiety" needs extra care in learning how
to deal with It. Many dismiss anxiety as something
that can be overridden by
find out pressure doesn't do much to suppress
anxiety. This is
one part of the
equation, but it needs constant maintenance....for some dogs.
Most training setups focus on retrieving skills driven by
"birdiness". It is important
distractions can be normal if dealt with properly. A
responsive dog is under control and focused
on "what is next". "Sit really means sit"
when it is part of a predictable, healthy routine. Making
that stable connection
requires teaching and
exposure resulting in awareness.......not just a
"hammer". The cool
part about having
a responsive dog is they are much more receptive to
A pro trainer once told me "Walk to the line like you expect your
dog to do right." The important
point of this positive approach is training the dog to
have the skills
in place to do it. The dog is
only an extension of a handler...which
loosely translated come out to "It's not the dog."
There is a huge difference between a dog that views the handler as a
potted plant vs. the dog
with a mindset of "I am ready whenever you ask."