Basics - Directional Cues & BNO Skills

This Page focuses on the skills needed to be successful in Directional Cues Skills Certification and in the more complex game of "Balls In Order" .  It will also help build a foundation for "Urban Herding".

The Skills covered on this page include:

These new skills build on those learned in the Basics Push and Send Skill pages.

Waits, Stops & Call Offs

Waits, Stop & Call Offs are all useful to keep the dog from pushing the wrong ball into the goal.  This skill will be essential for success in Balls In Order and other games requiring a specific ball retrieval order.   

Pushing can be very rewarding in itself for dogs.  Many dogs just learning the sport don't always wait for the PUSH command.  Monica Pielage in the first video demonstrates a method she uses to teach her dogs to WAIT before pushing.  This allows one to reposition the dog if they happen to have targeted the 'wrong' ball.

There are times when a dog starts to push a ball out of order or occasions when the handler will instructor a dog to "move" a ball, to clear a path for the desired ball.  In both instances, it's critical to be able to Stop the dog from pushing the ball all the way to the goal.  Chris Roeder, Monica Pielage & Pam Mason team up to demonstrate methods for teaching their dogs to Stop pushing in the second video.

Mary Ann Eustis with Deacon demonstrate a different method in the third video for how she starts her dogs on Wait cue to stop motion and used it to Call Off from a pushing a ball.

Go Back/Go Out

Directional Cues can be either horizontal (lateral moves) or perpendicular to the handler (or really any direction in between!).  Here we demonstrate training the Go Back or Go Out to send a dog to a ball behind its current position. 

Thank you to Monica Pielage for sharing the training video featuring Janice and Yuki.

Walk On!

The Walk On command is a blended form of recall and redirection.  It allows the handler to ask the dog to move forward from its current position (often lined up behind an object) to line up behind a different object closer to the handler.

Chris Roeder & Mickey demonstrates an approach to teaching the Walk On in the Video.

Move Laterally

One of the keys to directional movement success if having a clear word that tells the dog to Move Laterally.  In the videos the Instructor is using "Over".  Pick any term for yourself that is clear to the dog and not readily confused for another command (e.g. "No" and "Go").  While not demonstrated, one might also consider having separate terms for moving Right or Left as this may be useful for both Balls In Order and Urban Herding.

The videos shared show a sequential steps for first introducing one's dog to the concept & command to leave one object/ball and shift laterally in the direction indicated to another object/ball.

We thank Monica Pielage for the first video featuring Joan and Tucker on how to introduce the dog to moving laterally.

The second video demonstrates the next step of slowly adding distance and using mats behind each ball to reinforce the correct position for the dog.  Thank you to Monica Pielage for this video featuring Fabie and Storm.

In the third video Monica Pielage demonstrates WAIT OVER working at greater distances and without the mat behind each ball.  At this stage one could add more balls.

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