Flatwork Foundation for Agility
Flatwork—Foundation for Agility
Clean Run Productions LLC
Author: Barb Levenson
Length: 80 pages
Release Date: 2007
Flatwork isn't about the obstacles; it's about what happens between the obstacles. Your dog spends more time between the obstacles running with you on the flat than he does performing the obstacles. It's on the flat, after all, that you set up your dog's approach to the next obstacle. It's on the flat where you as handler do most of your job guiding the dog. Performing flatwork successfully requires excellent communication
between dog and handler.
Flatwork is also about developing a communication system with your dog as you teach him each agility handling maneuver without the distraction of obstacles. As you follow this training program, you will develop a set of cues and movements that indicate specific behaviors to the dog, and you will become aware of exactly what your body is really "saying" to your dog. Flatwork is your agility foundation, teaching you how to handle and how to make all your body language clear, consistent, coherent, and timely while also teaching your dog how to take direction and stay with you on course.
About the Author
Barb Levenson has been training dogs for years and opened her own obedience training school in 1991 in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. She added the sport of agility to her school in 2000 and a couple of years later began teaching the classes herself. Barb’s approach to both agility, and obedience has her marching to a different drummer, in part shaped by her equestrian experience. She believes that the best way to develop handling skills is “on the flat”—away from the equipment—and incorporates ideas from the horse world. Barb also believes that a strong foundation in obedience sets the stage for a solid relationship with the dog that is critical to enjoying and succeeding in agility. And that means training and refining the communication—especially body language—between dog and handler. To date she has competed with eight dogs and has titles in obedience (Canadian and American), agility, and herding.