With all this Rally O stuff going on at the moment I must admit I am looking bored of sitting on the left side of mum. You see a difference between Obedience/Rally O and Agility is that in Agility I have to run along on both the left and right hand side of mum. After starting with Obedience training this was something that both mum and I found a weird to have me on the right hand side. So working on left and right hand side is easy to practice as it doesn’t require any equipment (jut treats or some sort of reward), can be done anywhere but is really tiring to begin with for me puppy brain (mum is always looking for ways to wear me out).
So what to do….
Start with your 4 legged friend on your left hand side (or for the dogs… get your owner on your right hand side). Run in short straight lines and in small circles (about 5 meters). Lots of treats when we dogs stay with you please (and don’t forget your trigger word like “yes” or clicker before you treat.
Now do the same on the right hand side. This is where if you have done obedience or been taught a traditional “heel” it might feel a bit weird.
Hint: when training this avoid the word “heel” as in agility you might want your dog on your left hand side but working further away (where as “heel” is a position close by the left leg). Some handlers use “side” and “close” as alternatives.
A build on this is getting us dogs to come to different sides. Put us in a sit-stay/wait and then step just in front. Call to “side” or “close” depending on what side you want and hold out that hand. Sometimes have us sit on that side but also have us come to that side and then start walking / running like the earlier exercise. Don’t forget trigger word / clicker and treats.
Both of these exercises are easy to practice around the house / yard or if you are at a park or anywhere off lead. Just carry some treats in your pocket (as you should always do!) and you can’t complain of not having time to train.
A special thanks to our friend Karin from Get Smart Dogs who provided the base to this… and I just built on in 1st World Dog style. You can check out some more hints from Karin in the Training Articles on her website.