12 January 2010

The Greg Derrett Handling System for people who may like to wear skinny jeans and boots but that probably shouldn't be wearing skinny jeans.

The Greg Derrett Handling System as explained by Laura3 in English translated for people who may like to wear skinny jeans and boots but that probably shouldn't be wearing skinny jeans.

Part 1

Who invented the word skinny jeans? How much do we HATE the name skinny jeans?

Part 1, try again.

So handling systems for dog agilty, let's say they're sort of like parties. You might go to one party, highly populated by Jewish lesbians. And then another night, many tattooed ex Christian aetheists in 12 step programs. And then another night, artsy fartsy aging hipsters who do art show oneupmanship and whine if they have to drive over the bridge. Very different parties, yet you ask the same question each time, the minute you step in the door.

Where's the bar?

So there might be a party you would rather go to, but if you are a party person, you can get along with everybody and just do your own thing. You follow your rules of life and no one gets hurt. If someone shows up in the middle of the party with the most lesbians at 9:30pm, dumps their toddler in the living room and goes in the bathroom to snort heroin and then comes out acting weird and sweating, well, hell, uncool in almost any venue. Let's not cause a ruckus here. We're not at Burning Man. Don't go all bipartisan. Free your mind from hatred.

Pretty much, you can wear the same outfit to all the parties. True, at a party populated by dog agility ladies in sneakers, 2 people might ask you, "Did you come straight from work?" Because they don't know that vintage biker boots are not work boots and these are the fancy party jeans, not muddy work pants.

But I digress.

Really, they're not all that different. A party is a party is a party. You just go to the one where the scenery suits your clothes.

So GDHS, my dog agility party. Dog agility is hard to explain to dogs if you are a spaz and having a handling system with consistent rules just helps everyone be a little bit less baffled.

Most other areas in life, I suck at rules and can't follow and break them and got deemed the Unteachable One in graduate school. In dog agility, I am highly motivated to be Successful and am trying, really I am, to become a rule follower. In that vein, here I shall re-explain them all to you.

Shall we start?

Let's begin with the your first rule. The Reinforcement Zone. Let me show you.

Ta-da! Everywhere you would want toned pilates muscles is your reinforcement zone. Reinforce the dog here with their award. Let's call this the Pilates Party Zone, just to be clear. Have you seen my dog agility boyfriend Robert Downey Jr. boxing without a shirt on ever in a Sherlock Holmes movie? Reinforce that.

Guess what. There's an Opposite Zone. Here's rule numero 2. The Blind Cross Zone. Also known as the No Go Zone. Booty Zone. I like to call this Don't Show Your Dog Your Ass. You know those sweatpants that say Juicy or have sorority letters swooshed across the buttock region? Don't wear those. Just try to remember where your Blind Cross Zone is. And really. You should keep this as toned as your pilates abs if possible.

So when you run around, your dog isn't criss crossing behind you. Your dog chases you to see your 6 pack abs. And not your butt. Reinforce a lot in your Reinforcement Zone for best results.

Next rule. Keep your eye on your dog.

Both eyes.

Use the arm and leg closest to the dog to direct them. This eliminates arm flailing and the dreaded Evil Arm. Um, sometimes in gamblers having Herman Munster disease, I actually probably break this rule trying to accomplish Statue of Liberty Arm. Sorry Greg Derrett.

And finally, for today, face the direction the dog is going until they are committed to an obstacle. OK? Easy to remember for now. You can do this. Everyone taking notes? You have made it through lesson 1. Tomorow, you will be looking forward to the issue of Committment.

To be Continued.


call us team low drive said...

Help, I think I'm failing Lesson 1 already. So during a blind cross I should keep my reinforcement zone (rather than my ass) facing my dog, while also facing the obstacle, and also keep both eyes on my dog? The mechanics of this seem daunting! I must be missing something. Also wondering why they call it a blind cross when not actually blind. Not what my agility teachers have taught me, bad agility teachers, not sharing secrets of GDHS!

call us team low drive said...

Forgot to mention I actually do a lot of blind crosses so would love to know how to do them more effectively.

team small dog said...

I think, team low drive, maybe your agility teachers are teaching you a different handling system. Not to start any bipartisan politics here, but in GDHS, we are not blind crossing. That's why the letters are on the sweat pants. We want our dogs to stay away from our No Go Zone.

So we'd find a way to put in a front cross, or a rear cross. And keep everything consistent.

I am afraid I can't help you be more effective in a blind cross because it is not something I use!

You don't always have to have your reinforcement zone facing your dog, but you want to get your dog chasing you to get there-but on one of your sides, not after your ass!

Elf said...

I hate to admit this, but I have tears of laughter running down my face again. I am supposed to be working. Your middle photo could be labeled "expose yourself to the fun of agility", along the lines of the famous "expose yourself to art" poster from Oregon.

And I saw Sherlock Holmes and I'm now in love with both him and Watson. In ADDITION to the original Sherlock Holmes. So now I have two boyfriends with the same name. And who are both substance abusers. Maybe I should try to steal gambling-addicted Watson from Mary. This boyfriend thing is complicated, even if they're not in agility.

call us team low drive said...

Ah, I see, thanks for the clarification. I am still experimenting with different handling systems to see what works best with my intermittently low-drive-dog. I do love the humor with which you approach this whole thing. So many people are weirdly serious about this stuff and really it's hilarious trying to figure out what's going on in the doggie mind...