As promised we went back to learning more about turns in our handling class today. The entire class was about rear crosses! Not a strong point for me and mom as I tend to be behind her most of the time and you can't rear cross when the dog is behind the handler! LOL!
Jenn explained today that there is more to rear crosses than just changing sides behind the dog. She said she could lecture for days on rear crosses alone (thank goodness she didn't - :) ) For today we talked about two kinds of rear crosses - the first one is when you rear cross your dog and cue extension. So say you have two jumps in a row and then perpendicular and out a ways to the left, you have the third jump. You start with your dog on your left and drive toward the second jump and send the dog ahead and then the handler moves laterally to the left behind the second jump and behind the dog, cueing the dog with extension and then also to turn left. The handler might end up kind of close to the second jump.
The second kind of rear cross we talked about is a rear cross where you cue collection and a tight turn. Say you have the same two jumps in a row again but then off to the left side you need to kind of cut back and head at an angle to the aframe (so the aframe would be to the left and over a ways and behind the plane of the second jump). Dog on your left again. The handler needs to decelerate as she approaches the second jump and start to move laterally to the left to cue collection plus a left turn for the dog as the dog is sent ahead. If you do it correctly the dog will land with a tight turn and take the aframe instead of heading out and taking the original jump (farther out to the left and perpendicular) from the first exercise.
Jenn was telling us that the handler should be able to stand right up at a jump and call the dog to jump and cue the rear cross right there at the jump and the dog can learn to read the handler's motion at the last second. You wouldn't do the crosses like this but it is an exercise you can practice with one jump (in the bedroom like we do) to teach the motion to your dog. A handler can also do a rear cross running parallel to a jump but you have to dip your shoulder to cue the dog to take the jump or according to the rules of motion and body position, your dog should continue to run next to you and not take the jump because they are trained not to cross in front of the handler's body in that instance. Another important thing is that to do a rear cross a dog must have a send. Seems logical but Jenn said lots of people try to teach their dogs rear crosses before they ever teach sends and it needs to be the other way around.
I sure hope I am explaining all this ok - sorry if we get any of it wrong - we're just writing it down to the best of our ability and memory. It's all very interesting. Mom thought this class was completely over her head when Jenn started talking. But we actually did the sequences and exercises with the rear crosses! It wasn't the fastest way for us to do them, but Jenn was impressed that I read mom as well as I did and was able to go ahead of her and complete the crosses!
My neighbor gave mom the great idea of boiling ground turkey as a training treat - mom put a third of the package of ground turkey and a little garlic powder in water and boiled it until it was done. It breaks up into nice little bits for training but doesn't seem to get too crumbly. That's what we brought to class today and I give it two paws up! It's super easy and should be pretty healthy too.