RODL with a tight turn

Tuulia Liuhto & Pirtu - Large Team Final at FCI Agility Championships 2016

At 0:10 it looks to me like Tuulia is running on the dog's line before cuing a 90 degree turn to the teeter. I thought you weren't supposed to use RODL except for a 45 degree or wider turn. I would have thought to use a helicopter or twist. What were the considerations that led her to use RODL? Many thanks!

RODL is natural for the dog, when turning is max 45 degrees or less. When it's more than that, the dog is in the wrong lead, what causes that most of the dogs will either pass the jump, drop the bar or continue behind the handler's back after the jump. BUT, there is nothing you can't teach to your dog, so also this is a teachable thing.

I always try to think how much I or my student have time to put effort to teach different things. If you use only natural cues, you can get a dog to the world level before it's 2 years old by training only once a week. Still some handlers want to use a lot of time to teach the dog skills that demands a lot of training. So for those handlers who doesn't want / have time to spend for hours training the dog, I teach them only things that works without training (only the handler has to learn it, for the dog it's natural). Those who want to train many times a week and want their dogs to have some special skills that are not natural, I teach also those things that demand hundreds of repetitions before working (and still they are never 100 % sure, because they are not natural for the dog).

Most of the people doesn't have time or will to do hundreds of repetitions for many different things. But if you for example have bad knees or back, you might need to teach your dog special skills that you don't have to go backwords or turn a lot in your handling. The handler that wants to teach her dog everything that is not natural, probably belongs to the category of handlers "who's dogs are never ready". If you want to teach your dog handlings that are not natural, you have to choose which skills are worth of training a lot, which ones really help YOU to get through the courses easier.

Tuulia does "illegal" RODL on jump 4 and there is a price for that, never 100 % sure, not matter how much you train unnatural handlings.

Natural handlings that would have supported the leading leg would have been:

  • 4 German Turn and Blind Cross after the teeter.

  • 4 Forced Front Cross and Blind Cross after the teeter.

  • 4 Twist or Helicopter

Thank you for your great answer. Now I understand the reason for the 45 degree rule! But I'm wondering what it is you are teaching your dog when you want an RODL with a more than 45 degree turn--to make a sharp turn (and lead leg change) without much warning once the dog has landed? I would think this would depend more on the physical gifts of the dog to be so nimble! The actual handling of the RODL doesn't change, does it?

Hi Monica,

I believe you have to teach the dog to commit to the jump and keep commitment to the jump even though the movement doesn't support the obstacle. Also, the dog needs a great understanding of the position means to turn tight after landing, and to keep the bar up. This skill is very hard for my long bodied, 21" tall BC, so I happily use a twist or helicopter whenever I can.

I finally appreciate why all the S-CURVE techniques force the dog to jump over the near half of the pole rather than allowing a slice like RODL encourages. Thanks -- love the FORUM!

I'm very new to reading/learning about agility, but I love reading threads like this one! It really sounds so similar (yet so different, too!) to riding horses, which I've done all my life :)

Monica, what you are teaching to the dog in "illegal" ROTDL is the dog to keep outside (not he handler's side) leg leading after landing. For some dogs it's much easier than others.

Here you can find more information about the outside leg lead.

I referred to lead legs also in Kelly's and Anne's answers, look those through also.

  Janita, I'm so grateful for these detailed commentaries.  They really helped me understand lead leg considerations.  But now I'm confused:  in Mary Shaw's first course, you said you would  call the dog over #1 and #2 with your right arm.  But #3 requires a right turn, requiring the dog to turn away from the handler.  I know I must be  missing something.

I think I can answer my own question.  Cue 3 with a right arm and then run parallel to the path you want the dog to follow.

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