Fun on the Fly

My pacing for the mini-clinic was pretty spot on. We had a large group and so I used methods to help pack in the action. In our routine sequencing we relied on “visualization” to get the sequence… so an hour wasn’t lost doing obsessive “walking the sequence”. And then, on my Get Out exercise I put two groups working on the floor at the same time.

I come from a culture where we never “walked” small training sequences. But it’s a different culture here. And I need to teach them to get the most bang for their buck.

Keen to keep everything level (making sure all my students get comparable time on the floor) I made sure that my more advanced students got little do over elements.

Ad Hoc Sequence


From the two side-by-side pillbug “Get Out” training sequences I got a vision of an interesting longer sequence that took me only a couple minutes to put together. One of my constant observations about the propensities of handlers is that they fall in love early with what I call fast dog handling… putting all the movement behind the dog, and pushing. It’s quite lovely when it works; and it feels cool. But my observation is always that fast dog handling is like throwing cards into a hat on a windy day.

So after watching the entertainment round as nearly everyone struggled directing and motivating their dogs from the behind and pushing position… I specified that everyone had to run it once using exclusively slow dog handling; that is, with movement forward of the dog and pulling; nothing but Front Crosses and Blind Crosses, no Rear Crosses or Tandem’s allowed.

A funny thing happened (not funny ha ha, but funny curious)… everybody sharpened up, the dog’s were better directed, and about all of them tended to run faster.

End Game

We played a quick “What’s My Line” with the set of the floor. The rules to the game are quite simple… do all of the obstacles on the floor without repeating any or leaving any out; 5 faults for dropped bar; 20 faults for repeating or omitting an obstacle. Start on any obstacle you want. After you do your last obstacle through your hands up and shout “Done!”

We had two dogs do solve this puzzle in 17 seconds and some change. What do you suppose was the winning strategy?


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

3 Responses to “Fun on the Fly”

  1. Ronni Says:

    Winning strategy? I dunno. Maybe 8, 9, 10, 11, 3, 5, 6, 1, middle tunnel, 12?

  2. Bernadette Says:

    1-tunnel-12-back of 3-5-6-back of 8-back of 7-10-11


    Going to set this one up this weekend. It looks like a good training exercise.

  3. Karen Says:

    I might try 1 – front of 12, left into the tunnel, out to 2 then 3,4,back side of 10, back side of 7, back side of 8, back side of 6

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