Bonus Lesson Plans

I often have to make a transition from our weekday/weekly classes to our weekend bi-monthly clinics. You’ll note that the floor-space is smaller on the weekends. This is because the floor is shared with a beginners program and a seating and crating area for students on both sides of the room.

The movement of equipment between the two programs is usually not dramatic. However, it will have to move enough that it overall will have a different feel and frankly can be used to work on unique and diverse training and handling objectives.

I’ll share a bit here with you representing a single page from the upcoming March issue of the Jokers Notebook. The Notebook typically runs about 120 pages, so I don’t think I’m spoiling the element of surprise too much at all. Compare the set of the floor to the game of the week from this past week ( and you can see how much equipment movement I had to do.

The lead-out gives the handler a consequential advantage in real estate allowing him to get into position to solve technical riddles. In this sequence the handler gets to be slightly forward to solve the transition from jump #3 into the pipe tunnel at #4. There are no fewer than three wrong course opportunities after jump #3.

The table also affords the handler an opportunity to gain an advantage in real estate. The handler should be challenged not to hover over the dog as the judge conducts the table count. Instead the handler should use the table too for lead-out advantage. In this sequence the handler has some interest in conducting a change of sides into the weave poles at #10. Gaining a position for technical advantage is problematic if the handler leaves the table at the same moment the dog dismounts.

A lead-out should be conducted with a test of adequacy: the handler should lead-out only so far that he doesn’t arrive at where-ever he needs to be too early forcing him to move badly with nothing really productive to do. And, the handler must lead out far enough so that the dog doesn’t get ahead of him early, before he’s arrived at a control position. In this sequence the handler can’t really do a Front Cross on the landing side of jump #8 if he’s not actually in Front of the dog. An inadequate lead-out will lead to a sloppy/wobbly moment or having to opt for Plan B handling (or both).

Aye there’s the rubber!

I’ve placed an order for rubber matting (recycled conveyor belting) to recover my A-frame, teeter, dogwalk, and table. It should be getting here any day.

You know the teeter hasn’t much been in my curriculum for several months now. The old plank has been retired. I bought a new Doug Fir plank and have been treating it to cure the new wood warp. Wood that is fresh and a bit wet still will warp and writhe around for awhile. So all I really do is plunk it on a cement floor and turn it over every few days. It’s a mistake to just paint it and put it on your equipment.

The funny thing about my old boy method is that it worked very differently when I lived in Phoenix that it does here in Ohio. In Phoenix you’d only have to flip the wood for about 10 days and it would get pretty bone dry. But that’s in temperatures in the 60° to 110° range with negligible humidity. That’s very very different from anywheres in Ohio.

Anyhow, the wood is about cured and the rubber matting is on the way. So soon enough I’ll have a teeter back on the floor.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

In the months leading up to President Obama’s inauguration, the Bush administration rushed through a raft of controversial regulations. Name one of these “midnight regulations” that does not cater to some big-business special interest (e.g. damaging to the environment; eroding workers rights, civil rights, consumer rights; limiting women’s access to reproductive heath services, etc. etc. etc.)

First correct answer posted as a reply to this blog post wins a free copy of the March Jokers Notebook.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: And Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training Plan – Feb 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: . Readers of my web log get a discount: Enter “special02” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.


4 Responses to “Bonus Lesson Plans”

  1. Nancy Hoffman Says:

    There was a midnight regulation about using snowmobiles in state parks

  2. Kim Says:

    Wasn’t there one on allowing guns inside national parks…that is, non-disassembled guns.

  3. Michelle Says:

    Bud, where did you get your rubber matting? The recycled conveyor belt and how ar you going to apply it to the contacts? Glue? staples?

  4. Deb Auer Says:

    Hey Bud – I’m using the Joker’s Notebook and your page numbering is off a bit. Looking for “Three Leaf Clover” for the set up on page 17, and it was actually on page 21.

    Also – could you speak to the concept of using distance training as a method to get more beginner students out of the picture of obstacle performance? I started doing distance training with all my classes last week, thinking that this simply wasn’t going to work with the earlier hour class, but knowing there were other things I could do with the set up. A high number of students were able to get some success with working distance, and I think it was a good “aha” moment for them, as they saw that they don’t have to be over an obstacle, waving their arms around, to get their dog to perform it.

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