Area of Eclipse and the Ample Posterior

When judging a table performance the judge must take into account an interesting formula related to the width of the handler’s back-side. The closer the handler is to the dog and more inclined to hover over the dog in the performance the greater the area of eclipse. And, you will note, the more ample the posterior the greater the area of eclipse.


In this drawing the handler truly is not hovering over the dog in the performance of the table; but the judge absolutely has to improve his position to see the performance and conduct the table count.


You will note the extent to which the area of eclipse expands the closer the handler gets to the table. In a true hovering posture the eclipse is so magnificent that the judge really has to hoof it to get in position and might actually miss a second of performance for which he should have been counting, but can’t because he couldn’t actually see it.


A judge who has assumed a position at any distance from the table can be trapped in the area of eclipse and will have a great distance to travel in order to see the performance and make the table count.

This discussion is a cautionary tale. The judge and course designer should take note that a handler is most likely to hover on the side of the release. So if the course is coming toward the judge it is more likely that the handler might obscure the table performance. A better course design would be to release the dog perpendicular to the judge’s ostensible position.

The exhibitor should also understand this simple line-of-sight discussion. If you really want the judge to count for your dog on the table you should be aware of the judge’s position even when it wasn’t very thoughtfully managed. You should take great care not to obscure the judge’s view of your dog. The judge is just one more obstacle you have to contend with on the course and if you are thoughtful about this, it could save you a second or two on course from time to time. [Note: taking note of the judge’s position for a contact obstacle is quite a different matter and might require slightly different logic.]

A Hot Shower

I have some work to do this afternoon, mostly a bunch of details related to the TDAA judging clinic in Washingtonville this past weekend. I also have some manual labor stuff to do outside… hauling fire-wood around mostly.

First, I’m going to go take my first hot shower since I’ve lived in this log cabin. Yesterday Marsha and I studied the problem; dismantled the handle in the shower; and with a bit of problem solving figured out how to change the water temperature mix. There’s actually little grommet that slides over the gear inside that has a stop that dictates how much hot water gets in the flow. It’s a simple matter of sliding it off the gear, rotating it a bit, and sliding it back on.

Now, if I can figure out how to do this without scalding myself to death… I’m looking forward to my shower.

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at

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