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Discussion Starter #1
In addition to making sure own handling is correct, watching high level focus work (not dog - just handler) on competition videos.

It is nice to see the straight forward look of the handler and the straight position of the shoulders. No baseball hat, sunglasses, "fitted" trainer vest, looking down slightly at dog, left shoulder slightly dipped to dog. No handler help.

Same with protection work and the helper. Helpers in competition that look straight forward and not down and at dog. Not hunched over during the work.

Not only high level ones, some really nice club level ones.
 

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What's the significance of the baseball hat and sunglasses?

I saw a guy wearing those at a trial but I just figured he was doing it because it was a sunny day and the glare might have interfered with his ability to see well. Was I missing something there?
 

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I am missing something too-not sure what prompted the post it just seems to have come out of the blue-people make handling mistakes in competition-they get nervous-well at least I do
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No. Just reviewing videos and remembering how people will state how great a routine is when there are specific areas of handler help. And people were surprised when points were deducted for the handler help.

I was watching a few videos of the opposite, as well. Fluid and correct handling etc. Correct pace and consistent pace. When you see it and then watch the other, there is a huge difference. I have seen it done beautifully at a local trial - handled better than a lot at a National level.

What I was referring to was not mistakes due to nerves.

Some trials will not allow the hats, as some will use to hide the handler head to the dog. I used to wear hats. No more, since someone said that can be considered handler help.

Just stream of thoughts.
 

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Do you have specific videos that show the difference? I'd like to learn more about it. I think I know what you mean, but it always helps to see examples. :)

I would expect hats and sunglasses to be more hindrance than help, since they can obscure body language and directional gazes, but I've never done Schutzhund so I dunno.

Looking slightly at the dog is definitely something I'm very aware of, since I do it intentionally to help Pongu through trials. He's fearful; he needs the reassurance. And also, I do it because I like it; it makes me feel more connected to my dog as we share the experience. In our venues it doesn't cost you any points (in fact, in freestyle, you're supposed to have a certain amount of eye contact with your dog to demonstrate the team's connectedness as you go through the routine. It would be very strange if dance partners never looked at one another!).

But it is something that I consciously track, since someday, with another dog, I'll have to quit doing that (as much).
 
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