I remember a year or so ago we were discussing silent running. I think it was in the context of learning to pay attention to how much the dog's work off our body language. Anyway at the time I commentd that Tsuki doesn't much like silent running because he works so far from me. Well as we have progressed to more complicated courses I've discoverd he's become more comfortable with it. We had some really great runs this weekend and I'm convinced that at least in part it had to do with me saying nothing except on the hard parts.

I places where other people were using a call-off I didn't have to. I just said "switch" which caused him to check in and adjust off my body language. If I had said nothing he would have continued on the course my body said the last time he could see it. And I never needed a call-off because I got the information to him early enough.
Unfortunately for my Q rate (50%) I got lost twice, and gave bad directions twice. But the good runs were really great.

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dog-play.com/shop2.html
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And I never needed a call-off because I got the information to him early enough.

Yeah!

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
I remember a year or so ago we were discussing silent running. I think it was in the context of learning to pay attention to how much the dog's work off our body language.

Viva doesn't do well with totally silent running unless we are doing a line of jumps which needs no interpretation just take the next thing I show you.
With Cala, I'm not sure what will happen. My trend is to go for silent since she already gets so keyed up. A very good trainer I occasionally take lessons from says no, tell her what to do, because she finds agility so self-reinforcing that I need to give her "permission" to do each obstacle. I still think that in the long run I'll be mostly silent with her. Emotion: smile
I remember a year or so ago we were discussing silent running. I think it was in the context of learning to pay attention to how much the dog's work off our body language.

I wonder how much of that is also dependent on the size of the dog. I watch herding dogs - with their heads up - and taller dogs and it seems to me that they probably notice the handler's shoulder position more than my schnauzers do. When Spenser is on the ground, he isn't picking up his head to look up at my head and shoulder position. On contact equipment, where he's "up there", yeah, it affects him. But when he's on the ground, it's more hands, hips and knees. That's still body language - and he's definitely cueing off it - but I suspect a real difference between breeds and dog heights there.

On the ground, I suspect Spenser doesn't see much body language above my waist. (Now, I've got to go outside and play with that thought.) My guess is that Spenser is aware but not as completely cued in to shoulder position as a BC or such. (Except on contact obstacles.)
And we've been doing a lot of "watch me" practice, but a schnauzer is just never going to watch the handler like a BC does.
Unfortunately for my Q rate (50%) I got lost twice, and gave bad directions twice. But the good runs were really great.

Yay! I love those good runs - they feel so great!
~~Judy
Spenser - Carbor Talk of the Town, NA
Sassy - Can CH Carbor Back Talk
I wonder how much of that is also dependent on the size of the dog. I watch herding dogs - ... Spenser is on the ground, he isn't picking up his head to look up at my head and shoulder position.

But you answered your own question. We have a border terrier in the club who works far better when his handler is, for the most part, silent. He keys off of her foot position. Makes it a bit difficult for her as a handler because it's easier for her to change shoulder position than foot position, but there it is.
I remember a year or so ago we were discussing ... to how much the dog's work off our body language.

I wonder how much of that is also dependent on the size of the dog. I watch herding dogs - ... - and he's definitely cueing off it - but I suspect a real difference between breeds and dog heights there.

Yes, there is. Or at least there are quite a few articles out there describing the differences in running smaller dogs.
On the ground, I suspect Spenser doesn't see much body language above my waist. (Now, I've got to go outside ... lot of "watch me" practice, but a schnauzer is just never going to watch the handler like a BC does.

I'm not sure "watch me" is appropriate for a small dog. he should be focussing off your feet and knees, mostly. Use your voice when he can't see those. Or use an extended hand. The agility ability web site should have articles on running small dogs. http://agilityability.com

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dog-play.com/shop2.html
And we've been doing a lot of "watch me" practice, but a schnauzer isjust never going to watch the handler like a BC does.

I'm not sure "watch me" is appropriate for a small dog. he should be focussing off your feet and knees, ... see those. Or use an extended hand. The agility ability web site should have articles on running small dogs. http://agilityability.com

I understand what you're saying there. I think what we're actually doing is closer to that. My "watch me" exercise is mostly a "pay attention" to me. Otherwise, he tends to focus on everything and everybody else. It's mostly keeping him aware of what I'm doing - not eye contact in the way it would be for a herding dog. If he's looking away from me, and I reach into my pocket he should notice and turn toward me. Or if I say his name - even fairly softly - he is to turn toward me.
We have a class tonight - actually it's more of a run through than a class. I'm going to try at least one of our turns and run as silently as possible and see what happens. Try to concentrate totally on lower body and hand position and see what he does.

~~Judy
Spenser - Carbor Talk of the Town, NA
Sassy - Can CH Carbor Back Talk
But you answered your own question. We have a border terrier in the club who works far better when his ... her as a handler because it's easier for her to change shoulder position than foot position, but there it is.

Yup. Different handling for different dogs. It's why it's such teamwork and not just a simple matter of training. I'm going to try to be more aware of just what *is* happening that he is cueing off.

It's probably more body language than I think. I know if I call out the wrong obstacle it rarely throws him at all. And I suspect that one of our runs on Saturday, he may have heard tunnel when I did say tire. And my body language was just fine there - he had to run past me to do the tunnel. I hadn't considered until after that run that they sound very similar. We may make a change there.
I know, that paragraph contains contradictory thoughts. But I do think there's some truth in both of them. I'm still working out which one is more true, and under what conditions.

~~Judy
Spenser - Carbor Talk of the Town, NA
Sassy - Can CH Carbor Back Talk
It's probably more body language than I think. I know if I call out the wrong obstacle it rarely throws ... the tunnel. I hadn't considered until after that run that they sound very similar. We may make a change there.

And this is the kind of situation where starting with a trainer experienced in competition makes all the difference to beginning students. Anyone experienced in competition will know about the problems with the T-obstacles. And any experienced people instructor will know that once the person learns the obstacle names its tough* to change them. But its a piece of cake to get *new handlers using non-similar terms.
The tire is "hoop" for a lot of people. And since its common for instructors not to teach separate words for the closed and open tunnel it was a logical step to calling both "chute" instead of calling both "tunnel."
I use "tunnel", but mostly say "getin" - which sounds kind of funny when I say "getout getin". Means move away from me, go in that tunnel. One well known agility instructor didn't like it much, because of the "get" part sounding alike, but said the way I do there isn't any confusion and because one is movement and one is an obstacle I never confuse them.
I know, that paragraph contains contradictory thoughts. But I do think there's some truth in both of them. I'm still working out which one is more true, and under what conditions.

Ideally you want a dog that does know the obstacle names. There will be times when your body language just isn't going to be enough - at least if you do snooker and gamblers. An important part of developing handler skills is to be able to think fast enough NOT to call-off the dog when YOU said the wrong thing. I remember "celebrating" one run with Tsuki because he did exactly what I said - darn it all :-) - and he had to work so hard to do what I said instead of what I meant.

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dog-play.com/shop2.html
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