Ketschker Turn aka Flip
An interesting fact about the Agility world is that different countries approach handling in different ways. In some countries, such as Germany, handlers run very close to their dogs and execute many crosses. In the United Kingdom, handlers tend to run from behind their dogs and issue verbal commands. Handlers in the United States often run in front of their dogs, offering a combination of verbal and physical cues. Occasionally, Agility techniques migrate across the oceans and find use among handlers of differing style. An example is the European Ketschker Turn (sometimes called the Ketschner Turn), which may also be known as the Mitchell Turn or “flip” in the United States.
Regardless of what you may call this technique, the Ketschker Turn is a powerful maneuver which combines a front cross and a blind cross. Typically used when a dog is executing an obstacle, the Ketschker Turn directs the dog into a tight wrap. To review, a front cross occurs when the handler changes sides of the dog by executing a front pivot while facing the dog. A blind cross is similar to the front cross, except that the handler changes sides of the dog by turning away from the dog.
To execute the Ketschker turn, the handler first signals for a front cross when the dog reaches an obstacle, such as a jump. As the dog commits to the obstacle, the handler executes the blind cross. The dog will complete the jump and wrap around the jump wing to meet the handler, but will now be on the handler’s opposite side. The main purpose of this technique is to direct the dog tightly around the obstacle back to the handler.
Although different countries prefer to handle their Agility dogs differently, we can all learn useful skills from one another. Whether you call this maneuver the Ketschker, flip, or Mitchell Turn, this skill is extremely useful, especially for physically challenged handlers.