Leash Handling Spotlight: Choice Points and Pivot Points

Friday, Oct. 6

11:00AM - 12:30PM

Experience Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Leash handling is a skill. Matching the dog’s pace, anticipating changes of direction, avoiding leash tangles, managing the length of line, and anchoring at just the right moment are hallmarks of top nose work competitors. But these dance moves don’t come naturally. They have to be practiced.

In this session we are going to focus on leash skills, two in particular: anticipating choice points as the dog moves through the search area, and providing a pivot point when needed to set subtle boundaries to support the dog’s ability to work efficiently and effectively. Dogs should already be on odor, and familiar with multi-hide searches in novel environments.

Presenter Bio

Sarah Owings

Sarah Owings (she/her) is a long time educator. She specializes in the practical application of learning principles, transforming the lives of challenging dogs, as well as the lives of the humans that care for them. As an international speaker and regular contributor to both online and in-person conferences, she is known for innovative approaches to tough behavior problems and her compassionate and insightful teaching.

Sarah has written for Clean Run Magazine on topics such as stimulus control, release cues, and reinforcement-specific cues. She currently gets her fill of what she calls “brave learning” as a member of the ClickerExpo faculty, and as a curriculum designer and instructor for several online training platforms.

In the past she has advised the Glendale Humane Society in Los Angeles, as well as the training team at Marin Humane Society in Northern, CA, where she now also teaches classes. Sarah is an avid Nose Work competitor, currently competing at the Summit level with her canine teammate, Tucker. She shares her life with her husband, Fred, Tucker, a small herd of pet cattle, a dove named Latte, and a tortoise named Bug on a fifteen acre ranch in Petaluma, CA.