Below, I have outlined the phases that I go through to teach a backside send on a physical cue. You may hear me attach a verbal cue to the physical cue, but in no way do I believe the verbal cue is independent from my physical cues. If you are interested in teaching a verbal cue that is independent from your physical cue, let me know – we can talk about it!
The backside send is used in many different ways on course. For the purpose of this lesson, there is no additional handling with the backside. We are only focusing on fluency of the physical cue from the handler, and confidence with commitment from the dog.
The Recipe of the Backside Send:
Your motion will move parallel to the dog’s path towards the outside of the wing you’d like them to go around.
Your position should be one step away from the dog’s line, inside the jump cups, so that the dog can see the wing that you’d like them to go around.
Your eyes should be looking at the dog when you send, so that you can observe their point of commitment. When the dog looks at the wing is the moment you can leave in the new direction.
Your chest should be pointing to the line you’d like your dog to take.
Your dog side foot will take a step towards the outside of the wing to commit the dog to going around the wing, and then will take you in your new direction.
Your dog side arm will move with your dog side leg, sending the dog towards the outside of the wing you’d like them to go around.
You can add a verbal cue to support your dog’s commitment.
There are several Handler Mechanic Exercises that can help with your fluency in completing a backside send consistently. Want to work on those now?
Prerequisite Dog Skill
Keeping commitment is a concept that the dog needs to understand in order to learn the backside send. Do you want to work on that now?
Jumping Skills for Backsides
Backside Figure 8s & Reverse Wraps to Flicks are fun exercises you can train with your dog to help them with the different jumping efforts that are required on a backside send.
Backside Figure 8s help prepare the dog for slicing efforts while Reverse Wraps to Flicks help prepare the dog for wrapping efforts.
Teaching the Backside Send:
Start with your dog close. Use a pre-placed reward one stride away from the intended landing spot. You should be positioned middle of the bar, phasing the outside of the wing with your dog-side leg back. Give your verbal cue, then take the step, then move away in the direction of the reward/intended line.
Change your dog's starting point gradually so that they are approaching the jump from farther away and from angled approaches. Continue to use the pre-placed reward to help the dog with the jumping effort.
Move the handler's starting position further and further from the jump.
Change the reward placement over time until the handler can hold the reward in their hand and the dog maintains commitment to the backside and jumps.