What Do You Make of This?

Our fun run this evening featured a wide open ripper that allowed players to release their dogs to work without a lot of intrusive handing. It was quite fun, though not without its moments.

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I have an ongoing teaching point with several of my students about the selection of handler movement. Most people fall in love with the sleepy dreamy fast dog handling, behind the dog, and pushing.

This course might be solved with two Front Crosses. The first isn’t really all that necessary, in the turn from the tire at #4 to jump #5. The second is in virtually the same spot in the turn from jump #11 to the tire at #12.

I say the first isn’t all that necessary; and if you look at it there are no demanding down-field consequences. However the second might have very practical consequences. If the handler arrives at the tire with dog on right he’ll have a hard time stepping up to keep the line straight to the table. The dog will be inclined to curl to the dogwalk if the handler is behind, risking a wrong course or possibly even a wrong course here.

OTOH, if the dog has a well trained Go On Table focus … then it doesn’t really matter too much which side the handler is working.

All Work and No Play

With a lull in my camp and seminar schedule I’m trying to catch up with my chores. There’s really no catching up. I’m too ponderous a worker to get a lot of stuff done in a short amount of time. And as often as not I’m kinda like the pigpen character in the old Charlie Brown cartoons, I leave as much mess behind me as I manage to straighten out in front of me.

I’m learning a lot about life on the farm though. I hoisted the underbelly tractor mower on a pig pole so that I could clean it off. And since I had it up in the air I took off the swing blades and sharpened them on the grinder. I’ve half a mind to never take the underbelly off the tractor again because it’s such a pain in the ass to get hooked up. That last bit getting the PTO connected is always a struggle for me. But you know, come winter, it won’t make any sense to have a mower underneath, so I’ll have to take it off to put a snow blade on the three-point hitch and probably the front end loader on the other end.

Meanwhile I’ve been building a raft/dock in the tractor barn. It’s an 8′ by 8′ platform that will sit on six 55 gallon plastic drums. Marsha says it’s like building a boat in the basement. But she hasn’t really noticed that I’ve cleverly been fitting the parts only; and while I have some big carriage bolts holding together the frame, there are no screws or nails yet binding the wood. So I’ll take the whole thing apart (all my joins are labeled) and load it on the John Deere trailer and haul it down to the pond where I’ll get it all nailed and screwed together, tie the barrels on and flip it over into the water. My brother Keev is coming down from Cleveland this weekend to help me with that “flip it over” part.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at www.dogagility.org/store.

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