I was looking for an exercise to help Reese realize, when given permission, it is okay to move ahead and take what is in her path. I found an exercise in Bud Houston’s “Joker’s Notebook” , where he uses hoops set at an equal distance apart to do this.
We got 3 hula hoops and taped them to the jump standards. We took just 1 hula hoop and got the dog to go through it, throwing a toy along an established reward line. Then added hoop 2 about 5 feet away, with success we moved on to adding the 3rd, hoop. Once the dogs were doing all 3 hoops, we started increasing the distance between the hoops. We were working with 5 dogs. Three of the dogs were fairly young and inexperienced. By the time we completed a 5 minute session, they were travelling about 15 to 20 feet ahead of their handlers on the “GO” The two more experienced dogs were travelling 30 to 35 feet ahead of their handlers and the handlers were getting enough lateral distance to be able to layer a tunnel 10 ft from the jumps. It was a fun exercise for the dogs and you could see their confidence increase with each run. We will do this again.