Front and Rear Crosses

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Crossing in front of your dog or behind your dog is an essential part of agility.  Dogs can get confused if you don't spend some time teaching them about your changes of position.  Jilly's learning front crosses with the help of a pole.  You can do the cross from either side and hopefully it's getting her used to me changing sides. 

The video below illustrates a couple of front crosses and a little bit of training round the pole.

 

Update:  With hindsight I would never use a pole again to teach these crosses as it confuses the dog when they start weaving.  I would use a jump wing and teach the puppy to go round that.  The weaving page illustrates the problems caused by the using the upright pole for front crosses.
 

Front Crosses

This video shows a couple of clips of me and Jamie taking front crosses in our stride and Jilly learning to go around a pole and change sides. 

One thing I've been taught is not to let the excitement levels get too high when teaching agility.  As you can see Jilly can get completely out of control and she loses all focus if I try to teach her using a toy so in our case the treats work better. 

I have been getting Jilly used to working on both sides of me.  When we do rally it's always with the dog on the left but here I'm working her from my right side. 

Rear Crosses

Rear crosses are great for people like me who sometimes struggle to keep up with the dog.  It means you can send the dog on ahead where there's a turn and swap sides so that you're in the easiest position for handling.  The problem with rear crosses is that a lot of dogs don't like the handler going out of sight even for a second and they'll spin round to see where the handler's going.   If you're crossing behind at a tunnel it can make some dogs come out of the tunnel again.

Here's a video of some rear crosses and Jilly beginning her rear cross training.

Puppies and dogs that are just starting training will really benefit from learning to sit while the handler passes behind them.  Jilly has already done some training as there is a rally obedience exercise where the dog has to sit or lie down while the handler walks right around to finish in the same place.  The difference with this training is that you simply cross behind the dog from one side to the other.  Most dogs will try to turn and face the handler but this is what we're trying to avoid.  Jilly's just getting the hang of it.

 

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