I’m working hard at the June Joker’s Notebook. I don’t really know if I’m going to have it done in time. But I’m having a lot of fun with the material. This past week I set up the floor for box-work, using the basic Hobday box and spawning a variety of sequences through the performances of the box.

This is a building-block kind of arrangement of hurdles. It doesn’t really have to be strictly square as shown here. Often the boxes presented to us in competition are a bit misshapen and not very Victorian in their geometry.

It’s worth noting that the box is closely related to pinwheels of all shapes and sizes. In this drawing, jumps #1 through #4 show a three-jump pinwheel; while jumps #4 through #8 are arranged in a classic four-jump pinwheel. When expanding the discussion to pinwheels with my own students I’ll invariably point out the true angular geometry of the pinwheel rather than the fatal  illusion of the circle.

Invariably when practicing with the Hobday box you’ll also want to practice the dreaded 270° turn as illustrated here. I’ve superimposed over the white numbered sequence another variation (in dark red numbers) that looks suspiciously like a 270° turn but is, in fact, merely a 180.

I like to use boxes and pinwheels in dog’s choice games, especially games like “What’s My Line” in which the handler has to figure out a strategy for doing all of the obstacles one time only but are required to do each. It’s always a test to see if the handler sees the alignment of jumps and aren’t stuck in more stodgy flows through the box.

Note by the way how serpentine-like is the arrangement of jumps along the edge as drawn here.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

Smelters don’t have to smoke! What is the process by which copper is extracted from a solvent leach and then attached to a cathode by electrical attraction?

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


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training Plan – April 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: . Readers of my web log get a discount: Enter “special04” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.

2 Responses to “Boxwork!”

  1. Jon Says:


  2. budhouston Says:

    Looks like I win this one. The correct answer was… Solvent Extraction Electro-Winning


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