Re: Commands for fronts/finishes?
With my first dogs, I used the command "heel" for the finish to the right, and "swing" for the finish to the left. Initially all they learned was the right finish as we just had regular obedience back then. I taught the left finish to help straighten up the fronts (they were anticipating that finish to the right, so whenever they sat to the right on the recall, I made them finish to the left - and vice versa).
There definitely has to be a different command for the left and right finishes - OR you can use a signal (or verbal AND signal) in rally. In regular obedience you can use one or the other, not both. I tend to use both in novice rally and then gradually fade out the signal as we go more advanced. I prefer verbal over signal when I can because I've been at enough trials to know that there are things that can happen to grab your dog's attention right as you give a signal (like someone knocking over a crate, or flashing a camera straight into your dog's face from outside the ring). So I prefer verbal, and I have a voice that carries well.
I switched my right finish command to "getaround!" said all as one word. It seemed to energize my dogs more - some words just work better than others for me, so maybe that's why. The left finish is now "swing back". My recall is simply "come" and that is with the expectation that my dog will sit in front (my relaxed recall - no front or sit required, just get your butt over by me - is "here").
The only things that you would be marked down for in rally are things that take a full point off in regular obedience. Small imperfections - a sit that's a tiny bit crooked, for example - don't get marked in rally. If they're only worth half a point then they're ignored. It's good to concentrate on a straight sit from day one, but you have to be careful not to nag your dog too much or they may lose their enthusiasm for the recall altogether. The primary part of the exercise is that the dog comes all the way to you, briskly. The rest is just points. As long as you do the primary parts of the exercise you'll pass that exercise. If a dog loses enthusiasm, comes to extremely slowly or not all the way, you flunk that exercise.
Melanie and the gang in Alaska
Positive 1ST! More reward, less correction makes a GREAT trainer.
Chows: Khana CD RE SD & Dora NA NAJ GSD: Tazer SDIT
Total of 2UDs 3CDXs 12CDs 2REs 8AgilityTitles 1BH Chow!
20 Yrs Training/Teaching Experience