Distance Handling - Gamble tips #4
Here is a specific example where I am practicing with Echo. This is a pretty straight forward distance puzzle so I put a twist of the end of it. It does illustrate and important point (described in some detail in the first 3 gamble articles.
Even though you are not running, you are still giving information.
Do not get caught spectating - you are still handling your dog with acceleration, deceleration, pressure and body language. You are still doing crosses and serpentines and threads - you are just doing them at a distance.
In this video I send Echo to the first tunnel on my left side just stepping toward the 1/2 point (control point) on the path to the tunnel using my “tunnel-right” command to make sure she drives out turning toward me.
As she takes it, I hold pressure on the gap between her and the jump - notice my arm and feet are all facing into the space between her and the jump.
As she approaches the jump, my pressure is moved toward the 1/2 way point on the path to the weaves to just hold her out for an easy entrance.
As she finishes the weaves, I use serpentine body language to pull her toward me and then redirect her back out to the far tunnel. Entrance. I hold her on my right hand for just a moment to pull her in until she is committed to the path I want her to be on.
Why serpentine handling?
The reason I use serpentine handling is that I want her to anticipate the turn away at and not drive to the off course dark blue tunnel. If I pulled her out of the weaves with the left hand, she should be accelerating to the off course tunnel. Using the right hand she recognizes the pattern and is not surprised (in fact anticipates) the turn away into the far side of the purple tunnel.
As she comes out of the U-shaped tunnel, I put pressure on the 1/2 way point on the perfect line to the light teal tunnel and she sends out for it.
In this case, my decal cue and lack of a “go on” as she goes into the purple tunnel indicates that she should come out turning and not drive ahead over the last jump.
That’s it. See other articles for other examples, but they all follow the same rules.