L1 Exercise 5: Video Examples, Details and Judging Criteria

Exercise 5:  Go around an object AND back up

(1) Handler sends the dog around an object (such as a cone or pole)  placed 5 ft (1.5 m) away, and
(2) Handler cues dog to back up 2 ft (0.6 m).  Back up target is optional.

Purpose: Go-around encourages the dog to work at a distance, which is useful for more advanced exercises or finding “front” or “heel” position.  Backing up prevents anticipation and creeping forward.

Equipment: Cone, pole or similar. Optional: Back up target.

Exercise set-up:

1. Go around an object: Handler stands 5 ft (1.5 m) from the cone and cues the dog once from heel position to go around the object. The dog should start the exercise with the handler.  Any combination of hand/arm, verbal and/or forward foot motion is acceptable.  The exercise begins when the handler cues the dog and ends when the dog has committed to circling the object 180 degrees.


2. Back up: Handler stands facing the dog and cues the dog to back up. A continuous cue is acceptable.  A backup target is optional.  Handler may not move his/her feet.  The exercise begins when the handler gives the back up cue and ends when the dog has backed up continuously for 2 ft (0.6 m).   Take time to set up your backup for success, it does not need to be immediate after the send around the cone.

Scoring: Pass/Not yet!

  Dog does not go around the cone. Dog requires multiple or sustained cues to go around the cone. Handler is less than 5 ft (1.5 m) from the cone when sending the dog.  Handler moves before dog circles the cone.  Handler moves toward the dog when cueing the back-up behavior. Handler is unable to get the dog to move backwards. Dog moves forward toward handler before backing up the required distance. Dog sits or lays down anywhere within the required 2 ft (0.6 m) distance. Dog deviates by more than 45 degrees when backing up. Dog detours to another target instead of going around cone. Video does not permit the exercise to be adequately judged.

1. Remove targets and platforms from the immediate area to prevent your dog from ‘detouring’ to one of these training aids instead of the cone!

2. Take time to set up your backup for success, it does not need to be immediate after the send around the cone.

3.  Do not walk towards your dog during the back up!

4.  While a continuous back up cue is fine, the dog must not stop and start – the dog must back up the entire time, at any speed (or combination of speeds)

Video example of circling cone:

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Video example of backing up:

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