In The Zone Distance Series
Lisa Schmit, PhD, CCFT, CPMP
Every agility venue has a class that requires distance skills. Whether it is Fast, Gamblers Chances or Jackpot, you are required to work away from your dog. Additionally, being able to work away from your dog opens up many handling options for any agility class or venue. There are many elements to distance training and I have broken them down into specific classes to work specific skills. We start out with the foundation for distance class which is prerequisite for all distance classes. In this class, we go over foundation skills to teach distance! After this class, we have different classes to teach forward distance, lateral distance and layering, directionals at a distance, distance off of contacts and then put the skills together in a Distance Challenge Class. 

Here is a list of the Classes in the In The Zone Distance Series. 

Class 1: Groundwork for Distance

Class 2: Driving Forward at Distance  & Distance off of Contacts

Class 3: Directionals at a Distance 

Class 4: Lateral and Layering at a Distance 

Class 5: Distance Challenges 

Class 6:  Bonus and Stakes Prep Class
Foundation for Distance 
This class will focus on the foundation skills necessary to be successful working away from your dog. Whether it is 10 feet or 100 feet, strong foundation skills are imperative for good distance control. During this class, we will cover how to build and increase distance skills. There are so many difference groundwork exercises to teach your dog distance without any agility equipment. This class will include videos of me training my puppy Inspire the groundwork and foundation exercises I teach my dogs to have the confidence, drive and focus for distance work. We will be using targets, toys, cones, and 1-2 hoops or jumps to work the sequences in this class. Open to all dogs over months of age. Required equipment; non-slippery elevated foot target (I use feed bucket), 2 cones and 2 hoops or jumps. Minimal Space: 30 x 40 This class is required for future distance classes. 


DRIVING FORWARD AT A DISTANCE  

Do you have a dog that curls back at you, spins or barks when you get behind your dog? Do you have a hard driving your dog to the last obstacle? Do you have a hard time getting your dog to drive forward off of contacts? If you answered yes, then this class is for you.

Teaching your dog to drive forward opens up your handling options and makes for a more flowing smooth run. Additionally, many FAST/Chances/Gamblers/Jackpot classes require the dog to send ahead while being behind a line. In this class, we will go over the steps to teach your dog to continue to go forward and to drive forward off of contacts. With each lesson, I will go over when to cue and what cues to direct your dog through the sequence. We will discuss your cues. What are you cues? Are they consistent? When does the cue need to happen? Are you on time? Late?

Step by step instructions, videos and assignments are given. Multiple videos with different dogs will be shown including her young pup Inspire. During this class, you will see videos of Inspire learning to drive forward from the ground up. This class will start with the groundwork exercises to teach forward distance without equipment and move on to working with equipment.







​DIRECTIONALS AT A DISTANCE 

Directionals is an extremely important part of agility training! The farther you work away from your dog, the more clear and consistent you need to be with your cues. In this class, we will go how to cue your dog to turn properly for here/come (turn towards you) and switch/flips (turn away from you). We will go over body language, verbal cues and motion to cue your dog to turn at a distance. Videos will include teaching my puppy Inspire ( He will be at least 10 months old in the videos ) directionals and adding distance as well as videos with my advanced dogs. Open to all dogs 10 months or older that can perform hoops or jumps and tunnels. Required space: 50x70 Required equipment 1 tunnels and 8 jumps or hoops

LAYERING & LATERAL DISTANCE 

Lateral distance is a very useful skill to have. The more lateral distance you have the easier it is to send your dog forward at a distance. In this class, we will go over how to teach and become comfortable with lateral distance. Homework will include sequences but also discussing various courses and analysis how lateral distance is advantageous. We will also work on layering obstacles. Videos will include teaching my puppy Inspire ( He will be at least 10 months old in the videos ) as well as my older dogs. Open to all dogs over a year old that can perform hoops or jumps and tunnels. Required space: 50x60 Required equipment 1 tunnel and 8 jumps or hoops


​DISTANCE CHALLENGES 
Do you get stuck on the line in the Gamblers, Fast, Chances, Jackpot? Are you ready for more distance challenges? In this class, we will setup sequences with distance lines ( like FAST, Chances, Gamblers, Jackpot etc).We will examine different handling techniques needed to work your dog while staying behind the line.. We will focus on when, where and how to cue your dog properly using body language, verbal cues and motion so that you do not get stuck crossing the line. Open to all dogs over a year old that can perform hoops or jumps and tunnels. Required space: 60x70 Required equipment: dogwalk or aframe, 2 tunnels and 8 jumps or hoops. If you do not have contact equipment, substitutions can be made !!



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