Straight and close fronts for dog sports competitions can be a challenge for a variety of reasons.
Some dogs sit too far back; they feel the pressure of our bodies and they want to avoid it, so they hang out just a bit further away than we want them. Or maybe they sit back because we throw food or toys in their direction, and they are preparing to catch (or run, if we throw the toy behind where they land in front).
Other dogs sit nice and close! And crooked. The issue, dear dog, is your butt. It’s crooked.
A simple drill can help both issues; check out the video below.
Close, because after the front the dog will return to the place between your legs after they sit, so they sit close in preparation.
And straight, because dogs tend to line up their rear in preparation for their next direction of travel. This is why if you frequently finish the dog to the left after a front they will tend to sit with their butt facing that direction, and the same is true if you frequently finish to the right. To get straight, the next direction of travel should be…straight ahead. Between your legs.
Give it a shot! It’s particularly good for those of us who throw toys in training, but this works with all reinforcers