This week Jonathan and I started classes at a new facility. I will be honest in saying that I have been skeptical, and hesitant to start classes at this facility because they are serious Linda Mecklenburg followers. For those who know me know that I don't follow a handling system. We have worked closely with Stuart Mah, but to say he has a system isn't entirely correct. In fact, I have almost felt opposed to using a system because I don't like the idea of there being only one way to do things. I also like using verbal commands, while LM emphasis positioning very heavility. I also don't like what I see when many LM followers seem to use a lot of FCs and their dogs run slowly rather than driving ahead (this is NOT entirely accurate, just some of the negatives that I have seen in some dogs).
That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed our classes tonight. I learned a lot in those two classes, and a lot more about the fundamentals of dog training than I have in quite some time.
I have decided to use this blog to outline the things that we learn, not only as a journal, but also as a resource for me. I am learning, but I don't just want to "monkey see monkey do". I want to read through the information, understand the reasoning, and compare processes.
Without further ado, here are my notes from the two classes. (Note: Sends & Recalls is Lexi's class, and Competition Silver is Bentley's class):
The Linda Mecklenburg Experiment:
Sends & Recalls:
1.) Sends: Not a “distance” thing, but asking the dog to take a jump in front of them.
a. Forward and Lateral Sends
b. Decelerate early. Decelerating indicates a turn, not a shoulder turn. The shoulders remain facing the jump until the dog has committed. A dog’s natural tendency is to turn into you when you decelerate as long as there is no lateral movement.
c. Leading out off of a contact only allows you to accelerate. Going from stopped to moving is always acceleration. Better to hang back and show actual deceleration.
a. One jump drills using both forward and lateral sends.
a. For lateral sends, place the jump in a corner which forces the dog to curl tightly around the jump.
b. For forward sends, place the dog in a stay and back up behind the dog. Start running (motion) and release the dog as you begin to decelerate (stop before they commit).
1.) 4 Different Kinds of Rear Crosses
a. Forward Moving: Maintain forward acceleration beyond the obstacle, driving to the next. The handler needs to keep pace with the dog (rather than accelerating past, or pushing the dog ahead) to allow acceleration.
b. Lateral Movement: Lateral movement is what shows a dog that you are rear crossing to a particular side.
c. Deceleration: Handler drives ahead of the dog, then forward sends the dog (see previous) to cue a turn. Then the lateral motion indicates the direction of the turn.
d. No motion: Similar to a decelerating rear cross, but when the handler is way ahead of the dog.
The instructor remarked that Bentley does not seem to know the difference between the 4 mentioned rear crosses. This is likely true. We worked so hard to get Bentley to move ahead and away from us, that rear crosses were taught (and performed) in the most basic of ways.