Exercises with the dog leash over the shoulder.
Having the leash over your should in the form of an old “Bandolier” is very useful for a number of different reasons. When a dog trainer uses this method both of their hands are free but at the same time the dog is under complete control. For these exercises the dog trainer and dog will be doing a number of different activities including making passes through course with posts etc… As much as possible the dog trainer should do their best not to use their hands to correct the movements of the dog. To help the dog trainer not touch the leash it is a good idea for them to walk with their hands crossed behind their backs or carrying something in their hands. As you do this you will notice just how often it is that you unnecessarily pull on your dog’s leash. These constant corrections via the dog’s leash are actually for the most part counter productive and your dog apart from considering them a nuisance usually learns to ignore them as opposed to concrete signals.
Pointers for the course instructor:
If a team is not performing this exercise well, take a close look at the dog trainer. Are they reacting quickly enough? Are they moving quickly and energetically from one point to the next? Are they moving at the right pace for the exercise? And for the dog you must ask if the trainer is the most important thing to the dog or if there are other distractions diverting its attention.