This week we are going to work on teaching the dogs to collect in to a jump. There are 3 variations to this.
1. Recall to front / serp - This is the first recall on the flat we did, just with a jump involved. On the video I am doing full height but you will start your dog on a lower height and only a couple of metres out from the jump. Your position will be the same distance from the bar height, away from the jump and standing the same as you were for the recall on the flat. The dog has to slow in to the jump, load on to their back end and then bend around the corner doing a 90 degree turn. Please try to have your hand low so that you are rewarding the dog's head down on the landing. If the dog isn't slowing in to the jump, you can do a couple of things. One is to reward the dog as they come in to the jump, but before take off. Another is to go back and work on the flat work exercise to make sure they understand to slow as they get to you. Only reward the dog, if they don't touch the bar at all and they also need to slow down and bend around the corner. You will see I showed some of Keen landing behind me, and if they do that, don't reward them. Once the dogs are doing this well, you can add their tight cue on this one.
2. Recall to 90 degree turn - For this recall, start the dog on the angle in to the jump. Your position will be half way along the bar, but facing the dog fully. With the hand out over the bar, release the dog and then lure them over and turn 90 degrees with them and reward head low. Because the turn isn't super tight, they don't have to collect as much in to this one, but you still want them to come in and slow a bit.
3. Recall to tight turn - In this one, the dogs are required to come in very close for take off, in order to bend around the upright nicely. If they take off further away, they can't bend and will have to turn once they hit the ground. I show video of Kwyk taking off further away to show that. Handler position will be in front of the wing and facing the dog. Again you can put your hand around the other side of the jump to slow the dog in to the jump. For some dogs, you will reward slowing in to the jump first for a few and then see how they go rewarding them on the landing. The exercise we did last week, is key to this last one in particular.
All of the exercises above, have a few steps and key things to remember. Start the dogs in close for all of them and at lower height. Try to get them up to full height but each exercise will be different as to how quickly you can do that. Once they are doing full height, you can start to move them out so they have more speed in to the jump. Eventually, you want to be able to do them all with the dogs set up to 8 m away from the jump.
For all of them, you want to only reward no touching of bars or uprights, slowing in to jumps and them bending and landing where you are rewarding them. These exercises are all quite difficult for the dogs, so make sure to do short sessions and to start with, you may just do one skill per session.
Any dogs that can do all of the above, you can add running in to the start to add more arousal. Could also eventually try doing it for a toy and that will increase arousal and distractions.
These three recalls, will be ones that you constantly use to remind the dogs how to do nice collection and bending on their jumps while not touching anything.