Once you have done some basic training with respect to sending your dog around cones, or barrels or trees, you can begin to work on the difference between sending around the forward side of a jump and the back side. As always, there are many ways to train this, but let me throw out an approach that works pretty well to build some nice distance and independence in this behavior.
30-30 refers to a goal I have for training all obstacle behaviors. I would like my dog to be comfortable going 30 feet to take an obstacle and I would like to be able to give them permission to do so from up to 30 feet away.
I begin working this skill immediately as I train the obstacle, but if you have not yet done so, you can work on it at any time.
The problem with “sneaky toe” is that it works. Up to a point. And then it doesn’t. Sneaky toe refers to a problem when your eyes and your lead hand are working a path to an obstacle but your feet have other ideas. It shows up when you want to send your dog to an obstacle and at the same time want to get out of there so you short change the pressure point. It also shows up when you are stuck...
As much fun as it is to run full courses, I don’t think that running sequences is the best way to practice handling. Instead of practicing in one long sequence, what I would recommend is playing a game I cleverly call “1-2-3-4”.
In this game, set up any viable pattern of 4 obstacles. Typically I just scatter 4 jumps as shown. Randomly pick the first 3 obstacles. Then pick the 4th obstacle and place the cone at one o...
Chances is a NADAC game where most, or all, of the course is designed to be handled from within a restricted area and so is a great example of where distance handling skills prevail.
Having said that, these skills are not just for gambles, sends, and artificial constraints on course. Distance handling is an asset in any course to enable you to get to interesting places where working closer to your dog helps clarify the path.
Here is everything I think you need to know about blind crosses vs front crosses that will help you think about the pros and cons of each. For tips about how to execute each of them well, check out specific discussions of each in a separate post.