Reply To: Crossovers

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Completely agree cross overs can have many causes, including lack of scope, lack of training, over training, complacency from the handler, over confidence from the handler, excitability and lots of other reasons.

The recommendation would be dependent on the cause but the biggest piece of advice I could give is, help your dog sooner rather than later!

It sounds simple and obvious but very often, you see handlers wait too long, often hoping their dogs will sort it themselves, even when they are clearly on the wrong trajectory.

Even if we have a very experienced and reliable outrunning dog, we would still watch our dog from the moment we approach the post all the way through the completion of the outrun.

If our dog appears tight, at any point, we’ll give him a bend to improve the trajectory, sooner rather later.
This will result in a point loss of at least 2, if we bend our dog on the fly (more if we need to stop our dog before we bend him). Yet, this is still far fewer points lost than a possible -19 with a crossover.

Also, we prefer to lose the points here and ensure a better outrun, which sets us up to retain all of our points on the lift and the first part of the fetch. We don’t reflect on the fact that we have lost X number of points, but rather, we focus on the top end and do our best to retain the remaining points.
This is in contrast to those who let their dogs be tight on the outrun (often just hoping the dog will correct himself) and risk him only crossing and/or being too tight on the outrun and losing points there, but because the outrun is wrong, the lift is wrong (lose points there) and because the lift is wrong the first part of the fetch is wrong (also lose points there). You can read more about this in , The Mental Aspect of Trialing

The way we teach bends is very intuitive, and helps our dogs to understand the reason we’re giving input on the outrun is because the sheep are in a different place than where our dog thinks they are! We’ll be releasing more on this soon.