Archive for November, 2009

Blithe Spirit!

November 8, 2009

training plan 11-08-09

In the first six exercises we’re practicing a pre-cue Front Cross that will have the benefit of a lead-out from the table. There’s nothing like getting a lot of reps with a movement to make it settle into muscle memory. Note that each of the sequences have different conclusions that have their own implicit riddles.

Exercise 1

The exercise begins, presumably, with a pre-cue Front Cross from jump #3 to jump #4. It finishes up with a nice roll around the outside with dog on right. For my advanced students I’ll ask them to send to the pipe tunnel at #6 layering to the opposite side of the dummy jump in order to meet the dog on the downside of the dogwalk.

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Exercise 2

Out of the pre-cue Front Cross the handler will draw the dog through the three-jump pinwheel (avoiding the tunnel taken previously) pushing a nice tight line to the pipe tunnel at #7. Of course the handler has to layer to the opposite side of the dogwalk while the dog gets out to jump #8.

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Exercise 3

Out of the pre-cue Front Cross the handler will push the dog on to the pipe tunnel at #5. This moment might require a tandem if the dog elects to turn hard left after jump #4. The exercise ends with a very tricky approach to the weave poles at #8. The looming wrong-course tunnel under the dogwalk should not be discounted.

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Exercise 4

Now we take the pre-cue Front Cross in the opposite direction. This should go nice and easy as the handler puts the dog into the pipe tunnel at #5 and can finish either with dog-on-left or dog-on-right.

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Exercise 5

Out of the pre-cue­ Front Cross the handler is faced with a bit of a technical challenge, through the pinwheel to a blind approach to jump #7. This might be best accomplished with a Front Cross so that the handler can control the corner of approach to jump #7 with a well directed line that carries the dog neatly through jump #8; that would also put the handler on the side of the turn to the dogwalk.

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Exercise 6

Out of the pre-cue Front Cross the handler must draw the dog sharply back to the opposite entry to the pipe tunnel lat #5; and then needs to set up to present jump #6 and get the dog turned into the pipe tunnel at #7. This gives us another opportunity to practice the layered approach to jump #8 coming out of the tunnel.

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Exercise 7

At last we’re  done with the pre-cue Front Cross. This exercise starts off with a layered send to the pipe tunnel at #3. The handler will have to set up for a dop-on-right approach to the weave poles at #4. The really interesting moment in the sequence will be in the approach to jump #7. The handler needs to pull the dog past the dummy jump after jump #6 while creating an approach to jump #7.

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Exercise 8

This exercise has the flavor of a previous exercise. After a relatively simple start through the first four obstacles, the handler is faced with setting up a line of approach to jumps #6 and #7. This time we’d like the handler (if possible) keep dog on left to set the line, using a Tandem after jump #7 to turn the dog away to the dogwalk at #8.

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Exercise 9

Again we have the blind-approach pull-through to jump #4. This time the approach is from the opposite side. Part of the riddle is certainly going to be how to get the dog on left to influence the dog to the right and set up the approach. After jump #4 the handler is faced with getting the dog into the opposite-end of the tunnel… and not the obvious and more compelling end.

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Exercise 10

If we actually get to this last exercise… consider that the turn after jump #5 begs for a pull through to avoid the wrong course straight ahead in the dog’s path. This would be a marvelous time to use a pre-cue Front Cross to give the dog a fair opportunity to make the turn

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Quoth

Hail to thee, blithe spirit!

Bird thou never wert-

That from heaven or near it

Pourest thy full heart

In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

– Shelley, “To a Skylark”

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my latest publication the Just For Fun Agility Notebook #30 available on the Country Dream Web Store.

There is No such Thing as a Free Mule

November 7, 2009

Okay, I’m working on the suite of agility compulsories. Here’s a simple one… unless you’re the one in the box doing it. I’ll try to go through the entire list. A lot of it is in my archives. Some I’ll have to write new.

Today I have to be down at the Tractor Supply Co. holding down a table for the “Farm Animals” community show. Thank god I live in a part of the country where dogs are still considered farm animals. Anyhow, we’ll be handing out a few fliers… and doing foundation tricks with our pups Hazard and Kory. Maybe we’ll pick up a new student or two.

As a consequence of this obligation I’m writing today’s blog entry yesterday, or more precisely last night. Yes… I am writing this last night. But I will cleverly publish it in today to imbue it with the illusion of timely spontaneity.

At any rate the “Riddle of Two Jumps” is elementary to the kind of problem solving that the keen agility competitor does on just about any course we run in the game. We solve the puzzle backwards… downfield considerations always dictating our choice of handling movement.

Quoth

“Agility is not a game that can be won; it can only be played.”

— Bagger

A Riddle of Two Jumps

This is a small game based on a riddle. You will observe certain stipulations to solve the riddle:

–       Use two jumps only, spaced about 12’ apart.

–       The jumps can be taken only from the inside of the box, out.

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–       No crossing behind the dog is allowed.

–       The entire course consists of only five jumps (that means one jump will be performed twice, the other three times).

–       The instructor will specify the direction of each turn.

Understand the instructions? Ready to go? Let’s play. First handler to solve each riddle wins. We’ll typically set this up with four or five stations of two jumps. A handler is allowed to move into one of the stations only when they think they have the riddle solved. They aren’t allowed to use the station to walk it through and fret the solution.

Here are four turning sequences for the dog.

  1. Left-Left-Right-Left-Left
  2. Right-Left-Right-Right-Left
  3. Right-Right-Left-Left-Right
  4. Right-Left-Right-Left-Left

I use this game for more than the problem solving riddle. I want to see how my students approach a jump with a turn after. The jump before a 180° turn is always in danger of being dropped if the handler isn’t careful. I contend that most dropped bars are not the fault of the dog, but of the handler[1].

The discipline of directing a dog to jump and directing the dog to turn is important. Let’s look at some of the important elements of this discipline that you should teach to your students.

a)     The handler should direct the dog by moving in the direction of the course; move in a smooth straight line to the jump, and work through commitment. That means that the handler should not go flat-footed and wave the dog to go on; the handler should not come to a stop, or turn, or otherwise cue the turn until the dog has committed over the jump. Don’t send the dog to the jump. Be a part of the team.

b)     When doing a 180° Front Cross on a jump the handler should take a tracking step out to the side of the jump before committing to the cross to redirect the dog. This movement tracks the dog out around the wing of the jump. If the handler just doubles back in a cross the actual instruction to the dog is to double-back and back-jump the jump just taken.

c)      When changing leads, it is the handler’s responsibility to call the dog’s attention to the new lead hand. The handler should not simply assume that the dog will appear on one side of him or the other just because he has his arm sticking out like the sign on the side of a school bus. It takes only a modest effort to connect with the dog and show the new lead. But it is a skill that must be cultivated and practiced. In a turn the lead hand should take on a “luring” quality.

d)     The handler should take responsibility for calling the dog’s attention to a turn, and for tightening that turn. The handler should not be an idle and silent spectator to a dog taking a wide and undirected turn. All of the handler’s cues should go into the turn. The handler needs to move in the turn, call the dog, and show the way with the lead hand.

The visual cue for beginning a turn is seeing the dog at the highest point in his jump. A well-timed turn can have the dog beginning his turn before he actually lands. If the handler cues the turn too early, the dog may change his feet in the air and drop the bar. If the handler cues the turn too late, the turn might be wide and time consuming. If you use the visual cue, you will never be too late for the cue, and you will never be too early.

The Riddle of Sides

One of the first and most abiding skills that the handler must learn is to answer the riddle of sides. The dog turns most naturally in the direction of the handler. So it is the handler’s job to figure out how to get position always on the turning side of the course.

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What may seem trivial to the more experienced handler is an enigmatic riddle to the novice agility handler. In the sequence shown in this illustration the beginner is more than likely to get caught at jump #8 with dog on right, with no real answer for turning the dog in the direction of the side the dog is working. The turn goes away from the handler’s position if he approaches jump #8 with dog on right.

The more experienced handler works out the mechanics easily, seeing the opportunity to change sides to the dog during the performance of the pipe tunnel.

Changing sides to the dog is the basis of many handler “movements.” Changing sides would not be necessary if the handler is much quicker than the dog. The handler could work his dog on one side and just race through the long bits. This is not really a very practical solution. If the handler works the dog on his left (heel) side, the handler would have to run completely around the pipe tunnel. With dog on right the handler’s path from jump #8 to #9 would be over 30’ as the dog takes the lazy inside path, and the handler the much wider outside path.

We can establish early in our agility career that the handler should never run the long way around a U-shaped tunnel.

Indeed, neither of these handling path options is completely satisfying because, in fact, the dog tends to be considerably faster than the human member of the team. It is unlikely that we can outrun 98% of the dogs in this sport taking the long path.

So we have two rules now for the Riddle of Sides:

  1. The handler should seek the side of the turn (because the dog turns most naturally in the direction of the handler.)
  2. The handler should seek an economical path, as compared to the dog’s path (as most dogs tend to be faster than the handler.)

The next step in solving the Riddle of Sides has to be selection is a specific movement to solve the change of sides. In this first illustration the handler has the luxury of making the change of sides while the dog is engaged in the performance of the pipe tunnel. The handler makes the approach to the pipe tunnel with dog on right. When the dog exits the handler will be on the opposite side (dog on left.) This calls for a Crossing Turn, or a Blind Cross. The difference between the two is that in the Crossing Turn the handler rotates towards the dog to pick up on the opposite side. In a Blind Cross the handler rotates away from the dog (and in the direction of the course.)

It doesn’t take too much to make the riddle more complicated. For example, in the following drawing we use essentially the same set of obstacles, but have added another jump at the end of the serpentine sequence.

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So in addition to solving the right turn following jump #8, the handler must solve the left turn following jump #9. He must be on the dog’s right, and he must be on the dog’s left.

This sounds as though the handler has to be two places at once. But that’s not really so.

The handler’s true mission is to figure out how to be ahead of the dog at each turn. You can’t cross in front of the dog if you’re behind the dog. That sounds like a statement of the obvious. But it is the crux of the Riddle, after all.

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The sequence is solved by management of real estate. The handler has to get to position “H” by the time the dog is coming up over the bar at jump #8 (marked “D”.) The handler’s position forward of the dog and lateral (to the right) puts the handler ahead enough that again a Crossing Turn or a Blind Cross solves the final turn in the sequence.

What makes this sequence doable even for handlers of very fast dogs is the inclusion of the pipe tunnel. When the dog gets into the pipe tunnel the handler doesn’t have time to stand and admire his work. He has to quickly get on the opposite side of the tunnel’s exit and make for jump #8 at a speed that will get him to position “H” at precisely the instant the dog is getting to position “D.”

This sequence breaks down if the handler doesn’t observe simple handler discipline. It doesn’t pay to rush. The handler shouldn’t turn to jump #8 before the dog has committed to the pipe tunnel. That will, as often as not, earn the dog a refusal at the pipe tunnel. Refer to “Teaching Movement” in the Just for Agility Notebook, volume III, #19.

Olde Poem

“Remember, remember,
The Fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason, and plot.
I know of no reason
The Gunpowder Treason,
Should ever be forgot.”

 

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my latest publication the Just For Fun Agility Notebook #30 available on the Country Dream Web Store.

 


[1] I’m certainly at odds with certain top agility seminar leaders on this point. Watch carefully though, almost always the person telling you that the dog is responsible for the jump is some smart aleck with a Border Collie who is satisfied to have a dog who is 90% of the team. It’s disheartening to watch them scold their dogs when the dog drops a bar on account of bad handling

More on Compulsories

November 6, 2009

I’ve believed for a very long time that the agility team (dog and handler) should master a number of compulsory exercises in establishing a firm foundation for agility work. What exercises and skills are needed to improve the performance of the team? These should be the foundation for training.

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I searched around on my computer to find what my past work on the topic has been and found a list that I put together something like three years ago. It strikes me now that every darned one of these deserves a complete article, white paper, or blog post. So hang with me this winter and I will try to finish up my work on this topic.

Compulsory Exercises

November 27, 2006

The game of chase – Running with your dog

Building toy motivation ~ tug and retrieve

Two Jump Riddle of Sides

Figure of 8 – tight and technical

The Australian Triple – technical jumping

Around the Clock – conditioning the tire, and other obstacles

The Static Post – City Driving vs. Country Driving

Ripping apart the Velcro

  • Working on a parallel path
  • Progressive sending – jumps, and other obstacles
  • Owning the Pinwheel

Exercises for Handler Movement

  • Front Crosses – when to square, roll, or precue
  • Blind Crosses – on the serpentine
  • Tandem Turn – from simple to layered
  • Back Crossing
  • Counter-Rotations – RFP and the Flip

Mastering Obstacle Performance – Upping the Criteria

  • Jump
  • Tunnel
  • Collapsed Chute
  • Table
  • Teeter
  • Dogwalk
  • A-frame
  • Tire
  • Weave Poles
  • Spread Hurdles

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my latest publication the Just For Fun Agility Notebook #30 available on the Country Dream Web Store.

Don’t Be So Mean Jellybean

November 5, 2009

This all started with a note on Facebook from Becky Dean. She asks… how did  the Masters Standard go? Becky was away on the weekend on a family emergency; and I filled in for her down in Nashville.

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I actually did this to Becky’s course. The transition from the tire to the weave poles did not go like this. So don’t blame this on her.

I’m tempted to call this “There’s no such thing as an ugly weave pole approach!” The two qualities for success in performance of the weave poles shall always be 1) Did you train your dog? And 2) Does the handler understand his job?

Let me try to qualify the two qualities for success concept:

Training the dog must address teaching an independent performance of the weave poles. Teach the dog to understand the entry and to make a controlled approach; teach the dog to weave at top speed and finish no matter how many poles are present.

The Handler’s Job is no less complex than the dog’s. But we tend to talk about it less. Frankly the handler’s job should compliment the quality of the weave pole training foundation. If a dog isn’t completely trained the handler may have to shape the approach carefully; establish rhythmic cadence and/or movement while the dog weaves; and provide as much speed cue and excitement as the dog can actually handle.

And if the dog is well trained the handler should at the very least understand how to make a presentation of the weave poles while keeping focus on the entry to support the dog.

Aside

I took one look at this and said to myself “don’t be so mean jellybean!” Ordinarily I wouldn’t use an idiom in my blog writing[1]. I was thinking that this expression sounds really retro 70’s or something; you know, kinda like “groovy” is retro 60’s. Then I rediscovered something I already knew… you can Google just about anything[2].

Anyhow, I didn’t find anything that helps explain the origins and chronology of the expression. But I did find this:

More Justin Rutledge music on iLike

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This course actually ran lovely with a generous Q rate. The pull-through hard-aback turn from jump #3 to the pipe tunnel at #4 was an obvious challenge and tended to put the handler neatly with dog on right on the exit from the tunnel.

The next interesting moment in the course was all the away around to the turn from jump #15 to the dogwalk at #17. But wait! If I remember correctly one of the obstacle that attracted the greatest number of refusals… was jump #14. I mention the “interesting moment” first because I had to consider why a handler would lose discipline in a simple pinwheel and fail to support the dog to the outside jump. Well, I figure they were worried about getting position for a good Front Cross on the landing side of jump #15; and so they bail early from their responsibility to support the dog in the pinwheel.

The tunnel under the A-frame is set in such a way that it separates the handler from the dog on the dismount. It was true in this course and will generally be true that the number of missed down contacts was higher because some handler’s were unable to sit on their dogs’ heads through the finish of the ramp.

The A-frame is immediately followed by a hard aback presentation of jump #16 into an interesting little serpentine finish. We had at least a couple refusals of the final jump… but mostly from handler’s who worked the last three obstacles with dog-on-left.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my latest publication the Just For Fun Agility Notebook #30 available at www.dogagility.org/store.


[1] Oh wooden eye, wooden eye!

 

[2] I use Bing.com actually.

Compulsories

November 4, 2009

For a long time I’ve believed that in our training curriculum for dog agility we should define a suite of compulsory skills that encompass both dog training and handler training objectives. I have a small suite of these defined in my own training.

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Here’s an interesting exercise that is a bit snookeresque in its transitions. The demands include a threadle (3-4; 5-6; 7-8); broad outruns (after each technical moment); and a closing serpentine (8-12). This is almost a study in speed changes; though I would also broadly argue for the handler understanding his “job” in a simple Post Turn.

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I’m just playing here. Nevermind.

Snookeresque

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Three or four of four red format. SCT 50 seconds.

SPOT

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This is a very cool picture. It’s a Poodle cut that really has class and character. This photo comes from the Small Paws Over Texas TDAA trial. It sounds like they had a bang-up trial down there as the TDAA leaps in popularity.

Photo courtesy of: Courtney Keys, www.courtneypo.com.

OMG!

You know I’ve pretty much determined that the Bible needs to be updated for modern times. And old buddy of mine, a Jewish fellow[1] told me once that the old testament reflects the “wisdom of the plains” and pontificates on the essential skills for survival in that time and by the nomadic people of the plains. For example God’s demand to “go forth and multiply” (on the very first page of the Bible, by the way) is great wisdom for a nomadic male head of family with a thousand sheep, forty goats, and six wives. These statistics reflect a very labor intensive world. And the very best source of free, cheap labor had to be a small tribe of strapping strong sons.

Anyhow.

These days I’ve been concerned with being more organized, and more productive. The answer to this can probably be found in Solomon’s Ecclesiastes 11:4. “He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.

Okay. At first reading I was thinking about the two guys in the movie Fargo[2] looking up into sky talking about the weather. Why does one look at the sky, after all? But then I thought, one of these guys was shoveling snow from the sidewalk and the other pursuing a murder investigation… so it’s not like looking at the sky really was much of a break from productive work.

So what’s the problem with watching the wind and looking at the clouds? I’m of two minds on this issue. On one hand I think that this is glancing analogous advice; what we’d call today “paralysis by analysis”.  After all the verse does go on to say “Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.” Or, in other words “Do something, even if it’s wrong!”

On the other hand this could be simple advice to “stop farting around!”

So I’m going to presume to rewrite at least that one sentence in the verse… the “He who watches the wind… “ thing.

He who hangs out with a pot of coffee in the morning (in his robe, by the way) playing solitaire on the computer and watching last night’s Daily Show on the Comedy Channel will not get organized for the day ahead; and he who insists on keeping up with all the football games (pro and college), the World Series, and obtw the start of the NBA season and who has to watch the Netflix and get it back in the mail will probably not train his dog: get current with course reviews; update the web page; write the blog; do any outside chores… and a bunch of other stuff.

Okay. This is my first attempt at writing new bible verses. Give me a break.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my latest publication the Just For Fun Agility Notebook #30 available at www.dogagility.org/store.


[1] And whatever else their faults, Jews sure know their old testament.

 

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fargo_(film)

Breakdown

November 3, 2009

A “Breakdown” is a unique agility training format. It begins with a course which is broken down (hence breakdown) into challenge elements. Typically when we’re doing league play we’ll run the league course; do the breakdown training; and then run the course again to see what we learned from practicing the elements of the course.

It has been my observation over the years that given the opportunity to practice the challenging elements of a course… most handlers will do a considerably better job than they will with an unpracticed course. Should we ask the judges if we could practice their courses? I’m sure most of them would be fine with the idea.

The Course

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Breakdown

1-5

This isn’t a completely inconsequential opening. From the table the handler has the tunnel-under-the-dogwalk discrimination problem; with the handler required to take a blocking position on the discrimination. The handler will be drawn (possibly) to a Front Cross position forward of the dog on the exit of the tunnel, and so may not give a convincing block.

In the #2 tunnel transition to the weave poles at #4 there might be two pretty good handling options. The handler could pick up the dog out of the tunnel with a Front Cross, attacking the #3 jump at a depressed angle, and trusting the dog to make the angled entry to the weave poles from the off side.

Or, the handler might simply keep the dog on post out of the tunnel through jump #3, using a Tandem Turn on the landing side of jump #3 to open up the approach to the weave poles.

Note that the subtle left-turn on the dismount of the weave poles might lead some handlers to take a step away from the dog before the job is finished, and may compel the dog to come out of the poles early. Frankly, as a dog training issue, we’d like the dog to stay in the weave poles without regard to the movement or antics of the handler. However, that being said, the handler should be disciplined enough not to test the training foundation by taking an abrupt step away from the dog.

5-14

Clearly the tricky bit in this entire sequence is the abrupt change of directions after  jump #11 out to jump #12; followed by an equally abrupt change of directions back to the right to get to jump #13.

This might be an opportunity to solve a technical sequence with a nice bit of distance work. Consider, for example, sending the dog out to jump #9 while the handler remains behind on a line congruent with the #8 and #10 jumps as the handler tracks sideways into a cross on the landing side of jump #10. Note that the reason for the distance send in the first place was to give the handler an advantage in real estate… in order to do a Front Cross on the landing side of jump #11. If the handler isn’t in front he can’t do a Front Cross.

Another possible solution to the #11 to #13 zig-zag back & forth would be to use Rear Crosses at jumps #11 and #12. Whatever works is right.

13-20

After jump #14 the dog has a couple of pretty good options before getting his nose turned all the way around to the dogwalk at #15. First the table looms rather large; but more likely the pipe tunnel tucked under the ascent ramp should be compelling to a number of dogs.

This might be a good place to simply use a static Post. That means the handler simply puts on the brakes at the #14 jump and awaits the dog’s response, until he turns all the way off the first two options and to the dogwalk.

For that matter it could be solved with an RFP.

The next interesting moment in the sequence is the threadle from jump #16 to jump #17. With my own students I teach a Flip for this scenario (a combination turn – Front Cross to Blind Cross). This is a great place for a Flip as it is a racing movement. And the handler has a compelling interest in racing the dog out of the counter-rotation of the opening Cross.

I elected to make the #18 pipe tunnel dog’s choice… it would be a gratuitous challenge to say one side or the other was required. Frankly in the race from jump #16 to #17 most dogs will kick into a new gear and should be allowed to flow as naturally as possible into whichever end of the tunnel suits.

Kory in Class!

I’ve got Hickory in Marsha’s Sports Foundation Class… which began tonight. Marsha gave us a very balanced presentation of three skills, neatly spending 20 minutes on each of the skills (I’m a sucker for good timing in teaching).

http://2mindogtrainer.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/sport-foundation-homework-2-min-dog-trainer/

Amen to that!

Above is a link to Marsha’s blog where she describes the class. My “amen” was related to the problem of instructor’s syndrome that she mentions in her text. Some of us who teach spend more time attending to the needs of our students dogs than we do our own. I’m fairly committed to giving Hickory a terrific foundation. He actually did quite well. While he wants to go visit with the other dogs he easily gives me good attention and manages to be a rapt student even when somewhat stimulated. He’s a good boy.

Cartoon byTed Rall

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my latest publication the Just For Fun Agility Notebook #30 available at the Country Dream Web Store.

Found Poem in a Stereo-Sequence

November 2, 2009

I spent awhile yesterday reviewing TDAA courses. Mostly a course reviewer’s job is to point out the obvious; and maybe to educate a little bit on what should be obvious. But you know I have to share with you this admission that I almost always come away from course reviews having learned or discovered something.

I have this great little stereo-sequence from a course designed by TDAA judge Coleene Davidson.

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As I reviewed the course my first thought on seeing the dog’s approach to jump #5 was to recommend that the jump be rotated to be a bit less obnoxious in the angled approach.  Noting that the jump is shared by the #15 my eyes traced back to see the nearly mirror image riddle on the return trip. And it struck me that what I was seeing was really quite fun.

I’ve drawn the dog’s path in the #3 through #6 sequence. The #13 through #16 makes nearly the same demands on the handler though, as I noted, in mirror-image. It strikes me straight away that this will be most elegantly accomplished using what I call a Post & Tandem presentation. That means the handler will position himself on the side away from the turn, drawing the dog in Post after the #4 jump to open up the approach to the #5, whereupon the handler will flip back with a Tandem Turn.

Surely it could be solved by bump & grind handling with the handler being on the inside of the curve, stepping ungraciously into the dog’s path to open up the approach to the #5 jump. There… by my selection of adjectives I’ve pretty much colored which approach I like the best.

New Product on the Web Store

I have a new product in my webstore. I’m calling it “Thousand Hour Eyes ~ Video Review by Bud”. It’s a thing I’ve been want to try for awhile. My far flung students can send me video of themselves and their dogs in competition, and I’ll write back an earnest critical review

I’m taking the project quite serious. I’ve gone so far as to design (on paper) a database for saving and retrieving videos and previous correspondence so that I can track a student’s progress over time (if I don’t make them cry and chase them away, that is).

You can find my new temp webstore at: http://wp.me/PmSZZ-or.

Quoth

“Biddable dogs seem to be born with an abnormally high opinion of You. It is just not natural to want to give up liberty and all of the fun that goes with it at the drop of a hat, simply for the chance to be near a human” Jane Killion ~ “When Pigs Fly” (p. 123).

Pretty Days

Pretty warm and sunshiny days have been playing a game of cat & mouse with cold wet windy overcast days here in Southeastern Ohio. And so when it’s a pretty day I’ll wander outside and find a chore or two and labor in the sunshine. We’ve had two pretty days in a row now and so my writing and computer-bound homework has been scanty. I note that it’s a full moon tonight. I might build a fire in the pit outside so Marsha and I can sit and ponder.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my latest publication the Just For Fun Agility Notebook #30 available at www.dogagility.org/store.