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International Training Week - Connection in a Blind Cross

In this episode of the International Training Week video series, you will learn where you should look during a Blind Cross. Optimal direction of your gaze makes it possible for you to see what you need to see and be able to move efficiently at the same time without disconnecting with the dog.


Phil Seyer & Magic Momo

Hear all the words, but I don't get it. Am I not supposed to "look the dog" as per Janita? One of my targets for improvement is to have the courage to look at my dog as much as possible while keeping MY connection with the course.

1 year, 4 months ago

Katelyn Scott OneMind Dogs Assistant Coach 1 year, 4 months ago

I'm sorry to hear that you are a bit confused on this Phil! There are times in the course when different amounts of connection are required. When you need the dog to stay on a parallel line to you, they only need to see the side profile of your face. So in places like a blind cross, I don't need to turn and make direct eye contact, This is so that I support the extended line after the blind instead of collection. This also allows the handler to cover more ground. If in the setup the handler looks directly at the dog it's easy for them to lose track of where they are going and the next cue can be late. Especially in the blind cross if you look directly at the dog you will then feel the need to head-check where the jump is and lose that connection for a moment.

Phil Seyer & Magic Momo 1 year, 4 months ago

Thanks for your comments! It seems that it is important to look in various directions, depending on the situation. I see that Jaakko in his 1st place run at Crufts *often* looks at the dog (Sirius Black) through peripheral vision. But he often looks over his shoulder while running forward toward the next obstacle.

See or

Once, Jaakko after obstacle #18 looked directly at Sirius and pointed at Sirius Black with his right hand, only to suddenly pivot and lead with his left. (Looks like maybe a false turn)

At another time, at #7, he seems to just run forward to #8 without looking back at all trusting that Sirius will follow and Sirius does!. Proactive cue for #8 as Sirius takes #7.

Sometimes Jaakko doesn't even look at an obstacle, but obviously knows here it is since he leads Sirius to take it. I'm talking about obstacle #3 He runs backwards once he sees commitment. He sees the commitment by looking at the dog. :)

Janita Leinonen Leading OneMind Dogs Coach 1 year, 2 months ago

Hi Phil!
If you run parallel with your dog, it's enough the dog sees you profile.
If you want to commit the dog to the obstacle and run different direction yourself, then you look to dog's eys to see when the dog commits and you can move other direction than the dog.

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