The game of dog agility is all about pressure, applying pressure to increase distance or to create a turn, or relieving pressure to bring the dog into to you.
In my TEAM Training system I talk a lot about pressure and how to teach your dog how to read the various kinds of pressure, in daily life and in agility.
When I apply pressure on the agility course I am increasing the distance between me and the dog or preparing for a turn away from me. Applying pressure means I would be moving towards my dog, whether that is 3 steps toward the dog or just 1 depending on the situation.
When I relieve pressure I am bringing the dog in towards me, directing them to the inside obstacle of a discrimination or bringing them in for a turn.
When I walk a course I look at all the pressure points of the course, where do I need to apply pressure to create an efficient turn? Where do I need to relieve pressure to bring the dog into a closer line?
By breaking the course up into pressure points it makes it easier for me to see my key handling positions, the best positions to apply or relieve the pressure.
I will be going deeper into this subject in later blog posts, but the diagram below shows some examples of various pressure points in a sequence.
Also below is a Youtube clip from my TEAM Training Overview series that talks a little bit about how to use Space Games to teach dogs to respond to pressure.