Jack & Groovy PVR Assessment

I’m having a little trouble with Groovy doing the pvr to my left (leading her with the disc in the right hand). I’ve tried expanding the pvr and throwing early in the direction I want her to head but she still goes around me the other direction. I think this is partly due to her non-stop desire to go around me in a clockwise direction. Please take a look at this vid and let me know what I’m doing wrong. I’m sure I’m sending mixed messages to Groovy or something. Thanks.



Simple, simple answer, Jack! Look at 8 seconds: do you see that orange disc? Do you see the escape route? That body position looks exactly like a clockwise go around. She’s just doing what she knows.

This happens when the handler fails to set the lure properly. You’ve gone too far, rotationally speaking, too fast. You also could hold the cuing hand up a bit more to draw a larger diameter pattern for her.

Pull After Commitment

Let’s say the camera is 12:00 on the clock face. @0:07 Groovy is at 11 o clock. You are at 8:45. You should remain at 9 o clock until Groovy commits counter-clockwise. @0:08, she has not commited and you are already facing 6:30 on the clock. This early pull, pulling before the dog has committed will open up the clockwise go around escape route to your left knee – where the orange disc is.

This is super common, and I’d be willing to bet it’s going to go on throughout this video. I’ll try to pick out a few key moments and highlight them in terms of flatwork.


You can see a lack of intent on the lure here with the right hand. Are you leading, following or helping? I can’t tell. Can you? Set that target and pull, not just with the disc, but with your body. Intend to lead her around. If she doesn’t go. Stop and reset then try again. When she goes, Mark it and reinforce by starting the drill.

This lack of commitment to the lure by the handler is part of the problem on your PVR.

You might want to pick her up with the clockwise PVR after first setting the flank. This will allow more experience with flowing flatwork. So set the flank… pick her up clockwise… make a toss… then pick her up counter-clockwise and challenge her.

You can, and should mix this up so you get a mixture of performance of the behavior, challenging your dog and success. You keep setting up exactly the same set up and you’re getting the same result.


She’s really doing a lot of clockwise circling – 3:1, I’d say, and most of it is happening during set up. Try turning clockwise yourself when she’s moving clock. When she hooks up counter-clockwise, then go. Again, your intent on that lure, that stop sign you are giving her is just not working. Neither you nor her expects it to work.

I think you could do some Front Cross work to fix this quite easily. If you have a strong front cross, that stop sign you are giving her should mean something.

Have you done foundational set up moves with counter clockwise go around? Have you worked it with discs?


@1:06 – hell yes! Did you see that pickup? And it was well marked and reinforced. You need to get that happening before she walks around 3 times… Also, did you notice how it kind of looked like a Front Cross? More of that!

The more I watch this, the more I am convinced that you need more counter-clockwise go around work from Foundational Set Uip Moves. Did you work that during week 1?

Clockwise PVR as IceBreaker – 1:40-2:00

@1:46, pull her around Clockwise for once. Change your pattern, let her experience the freedom of movement you are offering her. She has not had any chance to contrast that with what she is doing. This standing around waiting is being budgeted right into the game – it’s what you guys do.

Work some clockwise PVR as an icebreaker.

Why it Broke Loose 2:00-2:15

This broke loose because she’s a herding dog and her balance point was tripped. She got to about 8:00 after that catch (@2:00) and she was already around. Her arcing catch forced that. That is essentially setting the flank at 270 degrees, and it’s part of the reason why we do that.
Where was the Mark on all of those moments of commitment? It worked, but does she know what it was that worked?

Watch for the Balance Point – 2:15-2:45

I knew this one wasn’t going to work, as her approach was a bit to head on for you, she did not pass that balance point. She came in from 10 o clock instead of 8:00. It was close, but it wasn’t enough to convince her that she should continue on that track.

In fact, that balance point is part of your issue all over the place thinking about it… @2:18 you are too late. She had already crossed over when you offered the cue for the other direction. You should have set that cue at 2:16 or 2:17 to have any hope of it being taken. If you stop frame just before 2:18, you can see that she’s already committed to going around before you set that stop or counter cue. She’s passed the balance point. She’s gone.

Where’s the Clock? – 2:45-3:00

Where’s the clockwise PVR? Many skills work in antagonistic fashion. Spin and Twist (clockwise and counter spins), Go Around (counter and clock), PVR (counter and clock), On and Off, Bite and Drop, Duration and Release… each of these concepts is taught best when working both antagonistic skills at the same time. They define each other and exclude each other and promote understanding of each skill.

You need to work more than just constant counter-clock, because now you’ve got an around the world and she’s no longer taking your cues,”Oh! He wants an around the world…” and now you’ve got the skill but not the understanding of how to do the skill.


And there you go! heh! Interesting finish. Largely happened due to scale and that balance point. Also she was pretty much on flank the whole time (no real frontal approach) which sets a line.

This is what I do naturally when working with dogs that have a decent outrun. I set and place targets so that it’s likely that the dog will continue to move on the pattern that I am looking for. It’s cheating, essentially, using reward placement to make things happen, but cheating is important if you are to ensure that the skill is performed successfully.

I hope all this makes sense…

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