The Split Group

This week in our Sunday mini-clinic we’re going to do some split group work. Mostly I’m interested in getting people out of the mode where they sit around too much. We’ll split them up for about two hours and they’ll get a good enough workout that they’ll be happy when the tempo slows down just a bit.

A lot of my exercises for class these days are things I’m working on with my boy Kory. I reckon that if I have good training habit and work on important foundation skills  for  my dog… there’s no good  reason I shouldn’t be providing those things  as curriculum to my students.  Here’s a bit intended to practice a Get Out.

I drew a line here mostly to demonstrate that I won’t be taking a terribly intrusive step as I give the Get Out command. Like any good distance skill I’m using this to layer to the landing side of jump #5 to manage a Front Cross with lots of real estate to get it done. Without the directional I’d likely be OOP for the Cross and the wrong-course pipe tunnel will come to much into focus.

I began the training in the backyard with hoops; (this NADAC obstacle is a terrific obstacle for training basic on-the-flat skills). What I do is nothing more complicated than rewarding my dog with a tug on a toy. He quickly figures out the rules of the game if I’m disciplined in the simple criteria of the performance.

I have to avoid the smart-aleck dog problem in this training. So fairly soon I’ll mix the training with options. In the drawing above the #3a is the Get Out. The number #3b is Go On! I might also (soon) add a path bending towards the handler to practice a turn towards me command (Come!).

After doing the simple building-block exercises you’ll note that it’s a simple matter to superimpose the table and a couple jumps to test the skills with a bit more flow and inertia. It’s not much of a change. Kory has plenty of inertia jumps or no jumps.


We lost another dog a few days ago. This probably accounts for me not writing in my blog. Six dogs in two years have left us. We knew years ago that this would be a tough decade as we had so many dogs of near the same age. Wizard’s passing increases a sense of grief for my lost friends. He apparently had a stroke and was unable to move the back-half of his body. We pretty much knew when we found him in the morning that he was gone.

Wizard might have been a good agility dog. However, his knees weren’t so good as he had TPLO surgery on both. And these surgeries were probably failing over the past couple of years as he became somewhat arthritic. And so he was just our buddy; the director of security (keeping that damned UPS man out of the house); and the best ratter that I’ve ever seen. He subscribed to the crunch and toss method of ratting.

Our boy Wizard, an Australian Shepherd, was a rescue. He was found loose and abandoned at three months of age, so we guess. I can’t help but have wondered over the years what kind of bad person would abandon a three-month-old dog. But he had a good life with us. He was content and dearly loved.

My Bad

Okay, I think the other day I said I ran a Pug FEO at the trial I judged out in Denver. It was a Boston Terrier. My brain’s getting a little fuzzy. Here’s a link to a video of the run if you’re interested.

I suppose I should put it out on YouTube so that the filesize is more constrained.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

Please provide the gerund-phrase that describes a precursor act to a challenge to duel. This has to do with the skin of a young goat and an item of apparel.

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 – June 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: . Readers of my web log get a discount: Enter “special05” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.


14 Responses to “The Split Group”

  1. Adrienne Says:

    “Throwing down the gauntlet”

    If this is right can you send me April’s? I’m missing April and May.


  2. Ronni Says:

    I wondered why a pug was named Oreo! Thanks for the video clip. I enjoy seeing the blind cross in action (probably because I’m obstinate when my teachers tell me it should not be used)…

  3. Adrienne Says:

    This could also be variations of the above:
    Fling down the gauntlet
    Throw the/a gauntlet
    Throwing the gauntlet

  4. Linda B. Says:

    Putting on kid gloves

  5. Linda B. Says:

    Slapping with a kid glove?

  6. mariann jackson Says:

    “taking off the kid gloves”.

  7. Deb Auer Says:

    How about “Taking off the kid gloves.”

  8. beth murray Says:

    nice run!
    remember it next time you mutter….terriers!

  9. Wayne Says:

    I live a sheltered life, I’ve heard of “throwing down the gauntlet” for starting a duel

    I’ve heard of “treating with kid gloves”-handle with care
    I’ve heard of “taking off kid gloves” handle with not so much care
    Not heard of “throwing down kid gloves” to start a duel

    • budhouston Says:

      It’s “taking off the kid gloves”. You’d know that if you were in the court of Louis XIV. it’s exploration of the origin of what is a common term today. We all too often forget where expressions come from.


  10. Deb Auer Says:

    Yeah, I’m somehow out of sync with your blog. I did answer a question from June, though, that I think had gone unanswered – it was a paragraph that seemed a bit short of e’s.

    Obviously, I need to ditch my ancient cell phone (held together by duct tape and run by a hamster on a wheel) for one that can access the internet while I’m (supposed to be) working.


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