letter J

Letter J

I trained Scoop on Letter J skills over the past two days, and I think I will leave the setup in place for at least another training session or two. Scoop did much better than I expected. I haven’t done bounce work of any sort since he was much younger, and J drills have diagonal and bend work while bouncing. He seemed balanced when we started yesterday, but I realized at the end of todays’ session that he looked even better. This tells me that he improved on the skills and maybe he can improve even more.  Here is letter J.

I started working each end of the J, first the diagonal lines, photo of Scoop bouncing the diagonal below. I worked both sides going both directions two times each side. A total of 8 passes.

Then we did the bounce circles, and did approximately 8 of those. Photos:

Then I added first the middle jump to the bend work, then turned around and added the middle jump before the diagonal line. Then I went right into the diagonal to the middle jump to the bendwork, and turned around and went the opposite direction. Each pass I rear crossed either into the bend or the diagonal line.

I just want him to look comfortable and smooth when bounce jumping, no effort, no added strides, and on the bounce circles I want to see him bending around the arc. When I put the full drill together he bounced through the diagonal, lengthened on the straightaway, then tucked right into the bounce arc and followed my rear cross cue. He never added steps, looked much different from one side to the other, or even knocked a bar. All that tells me he is comfortable with the challenge. I really like this drill. I got ideas for the setup some years ago from training sessions with Susan Salo.

Here in California we are totally blessed with perfect weather this week. It was 70 degrees yesterday! I can’t wait to get out and play today, in fact I have the whole weekend at home to do whatever I want, and what I want is more J, then maybe K….:)


12 responses

  1. “K” is done. There is a break in the weather. On to (or back to H ) tomorrow. Will you be coming “east” this year to do any seminars ?
    “J” looks like fun. Maybe after “H” in my alphabet.

    • Right now I am scheduled to be in the East on the following dates:
      February 26 to 28 at Clean Run, and 18 to 21 in Rochester, NY. I have some other Eastern trips in the planning stage, but truthfully I would like to spend more time at home or on the West Coast this year and compete a lot more than I have over the last 18 months:)


  2. Hi Nancy, can’t wait for your Alphabet book to come out – will you have explanations with the drills in the book?
    sometimes i get a little lost with the terminology and would love to know more.

    Have you ever considered bringing out a ‘How to teach jumping’ book??!!

    • The alphabet drills which were published in CR have lots of diagrams and directions and many drills. Some have as many as 20 exercises for a single letter. Do you have access to any of the old CR’s?


  3. Hey Nancy, stupid question but one I never seem to see addressed on teaching a pup to jump. Every video of training I see and all the jumping drill videos show handlers moving slowly and smoothly; Linda M has supporting motion but steady rather than fast in what I can see (books aren’t that good for “seeing” movement) and Susan Salo suggests letting the youngster get on with learning to jump while the handler is stationary or close to it. So at what point do you teach your dog to jump with the handler running at full speed while asking the dog not/not to flatten? That’s my current jumping issue, and I’d prefer teaching the skill to correcting or repeating a dropped bar. Any advice? Scoop looks great!

    • Good Question! When Scoop was 13 to 14 months old and really understood to move down a straight line of 3 jumps to a target I started to run a bit more with him. One of the biggest elements is for the dog not to look at you while jumping. Scoop had been introduced to speed on the jumps when he ran for toys after jumping or was targeted down a line, but initially *I* had not run, just him:) I had no problems introducing my speed as long as I had a toy to throw or target. Bar knocking is an individual issue and there are lots of reasons why it happens. Too much handler activity while the dog is trying to find the jumps and sort it all it is one of the biggest reasons. When I first move from ground work to adding one jump in motion I am also running, but there is only one jump:)

  4. For some reason years ago I started at 7 feet. It is where I always start. This morning a young dog who is here training was adding a step between jumps rather than bouncing and so I moved them to 6 feet and up to 12 inches rather than 8 and that solved it. It is a bit of experimentation as well as simply watching your dog. My sheltie used to be able to bounce 7 feet as well, but sometimes I tightened it up to as little as 4 feet. In FCI small dogs are required to jump a three jump bounce in as little at 6 feet 6 inches. Medium dogs in 9 feet 9 inches and large dogs at 13 feet. Those are at full height and in the middle of the course so the dog could hit them at full speed. Scoop is uber comfortable at 24 inches at 7 feet. I don’t feel the need to do more than that in a drill setting. 7 feet of width translates to about 11 feet between jumps on the dogs path.
    I will try to put up a better diagram. The last one was unreadable so I removed it.


  5. Enjoying your blog. Thank you! Scoop looks terrific.

    How do you decide how many feet should be between jumps (especially when you want smooth bounce jumps)?

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