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I’m having that issue again where I want to get everything “right.” Apparently my brain still thinks that there are correct commands for each action you want a dog to perform. I know that my obedience trainer uses the “go out” command in Obedience which means for the dog to go forward at a brisk trot or gallop to a point about 20 feet past the jumps in the approximate center of the unobstructed end of the ring. This is for Utility Directed Jumping. My understanding is the action is for the dog to go straight out from you, until you command a sit. “Go out” makes sense to me for this. “Go out” over there, then “sit.” Words match the actions my brain is expecting to the dog to perform.

Tonight my Agility trainer talked about having to send your dog out away from you. She used “go out,” but in this case the dog will be going around an obstacle, curving around it, and not traveling in a straight line.

Immediate brain panic. Now, I suppose it’s good that I realized this is going to be an issue. I recognized that these two actions are different enough that I think they will need separate commands. But the fact that it sent me home googling commands to try to find “correct” ones to use — possibly not so good.

I need to remind myself that my dog doesn’t speak English. She won’t care what command I use. Apple, pear, peaches and orange could just as easily mean sit, stay, down and come to her if I trained it that way. I could train her so that the word “banana” means go out straight from me until I tell her to sit. But there it is. Some how this idea of “right” seems to be hard wired into me. I want a dictionary of terms — this action means the dog does this and this command should be used. This dictionary must encompass ALL dog sports, so that as I add to my repertoire of games to play with my dog there will be no conflicts.

Because we all know that the English language works that way with no one word having more than one meaning.

But, the commands have to be something I’ll remember and that make sense to me. Commanding banana in either location probably won’t come as second nature even if I train it.

I’ll have to spend a little time thinking about this, and deciding what command I want to use. But it would be nice to have a list to choose from. Maybe next dog show I’ll spend some more time watching the other levels of Obedience. I may not get a dictionary, but I’ll possibly get ideas of what others use!

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