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Vocabulary Reboot Part I: Threadles

I've been thinking a lot about threadles lately. It's something that historically, I've handled my way out of, rather than training, for the most part. I love training. I went to ALL of the Bob Bailey Chicken Camps, and I loved all of them. But for some reason, I just never viewed threadles as a training challenge. Insert maniacal laughter here.

I'm also thinking a lot about running contacts right now. Way back in 2008, when I started training Solar's running contacts, before the days of online classes, and when NObody had thought to use FOOD or a remote controlled treat dispenser to get going, I figured it out largely by myself, along with Silvia Trkman's writeup of the process she followed on her website. Her writeup was largely conceptual, and frankly, I think that was better for me to have read than a step by step process.

The concept of the process to be followed, along with my mind spinning with ideas, fresh out of Chicken Camp, meant that I really tried hard not only to be a good trainer, but also, to fully understand the concept of what I was training, as well as the ramifications of any ripples that might affect other training I was doing (there are, and JUMP training ripples in to running contacts, but, more on that later).

So, with my puppy, I expect that when she is old enough to step in to the arena to tackle an FCI style course, she will need a thorough understanding of landing side approaches.

What is a landing side approach?

First off, I think we would be wise to discontinue use of the term ‘threadle', and instead, adopt a term that more accurately describes the type of challenge a threadle represents. So, I'm no longer going to use that word (plus my autocorrect hates it). Instead, I'm going to use the term landing side approach.

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Carole MannDaisy PeelKellyBeth DollarLynda Caughlin Recent comment authors
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Sharon
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Sharon
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I really enjoyed this discussion. The diagrams made everything very clear to understand. I had never thought of tunnels and weaves as potential Landing Side Approaches, but you are absolutely right.

Sharon Yildiz
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I loved this article, and the diagrams were so clear and easy to follow. I had never thought of weaves or tunnels as being in the same class as a back-jump, but your explanation has won me over. Thanks!

Melinda F Schneider
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I’m not wild about the term landing side. When viewed from the approach, every obstacle has two take-off sides and two landing sides (confusing when in discussion) depending on whether or not the dog is to take what’s in from of him or is pulled or pushed to the backside. Each has only one front side and one backside when viewed from the approach. So, while I appreciate your desire to get rid of the term threadle, I would argue for frontside and backside in preference to take-off and landing sides.

Alan Gardner
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Love the science behind your thoughts (as always). I think this will take a few days for me to work through smile and understand though! Thanks x

SteveSchwarz
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I like your idea that because the dog’s behavior is the same in all those obstacle sequences we should describe them with the same term is a great idea. Unfortunately, like threadle, “landing side” still has a significant cognitive load when applied to non-jump obstacles; I’d argue it is more difficult for learners to see the landing side on non-jumping obstacles than for them to see the dog’s path being a threadle. Mostly because people don’t think of tunnels and weaves as having take off or landing sides. I’ve been hearing people use “non-obvious side”/end for those sequences and applying… Read more »

Lynda Caughlin
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Lynda Caughlin
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Great article, most definitely will have me looking at threadles in a different way, thanks
Diagrams were helpful

Beth Dollar
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Beth Dollar
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Very interesting. Something I have pondered myself, can’t wait for part two

Kelly
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Kelly
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Daisy,
Thank you for this! I have been doing agility for over 10 years and have never been comfortable with the whole threadle thing. It caused me to do timid signals to the dogs and a lot of unsuccessful attempts because the dogs were never sure what I was asking for. Now this I understand!

Carole Mann
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Very well put for my brain. Its all about the action. What is being required for the Dog to understand. Thank you. Loved the diagrams