The Toughest Six Jumps

The toughest six jumps in the Petit Prix were the core feature of Wayne Van Deusen’s standard course in the Quarter Finals, at the end of day on Saturday. You can follow them on this course map:  #6 through #11.

My girl Hazard actually won the 8″ division on this course. That’s astounding to me. She certainly wasn’t the fastest dog in the class. I knew when walking the course that the thing I had to do with the six jumps is to attack them, rather than try to survive them. No guts no glory. Right?

The key to the jumping sequence is #7. I knew that I had to beat her to the #7 jump in order to conduct an efficient turn (pre-cue the turn even). The biggest fault rate in the class happened after this jump as too many dogs took the wrong course over #9 because the handler was OOP and couldn’t handle the transition.

I closed the sequence after the wrap at #8 with a couple Blind Crosses, a racing movement mind you; from #9 to #10 and from #10 to #11.

Back at the Ranch

I couldn’t wait to set up this jumping sequence back home where I had a series of private lessons (for boot camp students) and classes. Of course I had to adjust the spacing for big dogs.

The use of the dogwalk was mostly to fairly approximate the approach to the jumping sequence. You’ll note that the closing, after jump #9, is significantly different. My little building (62′ by 100′) won’t accommodate the full course with big-dog spacing.

Still jump #5 is the key to the puzzle. The requisite strategic skill is understanding that the handler should be at a broad lateral distance from the dog on the dismount of the dogwalk… actually close enough to jump #4 to touch it as the dog dismounts the ramp. This give the handler an ample advantage in real estate to get to jump #5 forward of the dog to manage the tricky turn back to jump #6.

A Small Variation

It was easy enough to add a jump in the transition from #6 to #7 (now #8). While this might seem to simplify, it actually adds quite a layer of complication. As previously set the handler could use a rear cross at jump #6 to effect the wrap around the jump… and then he could hot-foot it to be forward of the dog for the closing. Now the handler is obligate to support the dog out over the new jump #7 and may lose his position forward of the dog… if the dog has any speed whatsoever.

Join Me!

Join me again tomorrow and for the next few days as I play a bit of “What do you make of this?” and find other interesting training/sequencing puzzles in this set of equipment.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training ~ Issue #0 ~ August 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: . Readers of my web log get a discount: Enter “special00” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.


5 Responses to “The Toughest Six Jumps”

  1. Deb Auer Says:

    Finally, I found “Bud’s solution” on a course without watching Bud do it first.

    I loved this course, btw, and I loved these six jumps. We set this up for our class on Wednesday night – again, spacing blown out for the big dogs. Dizzy and I couldn’t get the distance you mention, and my failure to watch her landing after jump 6 sort of cost us – she ran so wide, she left the ring momentarily.

    My pressing concern was to get to the weave poles after the tunnel. For that, I needed to be well ahead of her coming out of the jumping sequence – and preferably dog on left.

    Diz’s course time – including the loop out of the ring and a bobble at jump 11, was just under 34 seconds, and clean. (Great course, Wayne!)

    • budhouston Says:

      Hey Deb,

      I’d be really interested in how you implemented the “six jumps” into your class plan. It’s true, great minds do think alike.

      Obviously I didn’t incorporate the weaves after the pipe tunnel in my class plan. In the original course since I was doing a series of blind crosses (a racing movement after all) I had the position to give a little insurance bump. Indeed that was the compelling reason for the racing movements.


  2. Marsha Says:

    So when the dog is coming over #4, where are you positioned for #5 and #6? Sorry my visualization isn’t as good as Deb’s

    • budhouston Says:

      I take it you’re talking about the second drawing. The control position is forward of the dog, on the landing side of jump #5.

      Clear enough?


  3. Angel McDonald Says:

    Gosh, until you mentioned it, I didn’t really internalize how difficult that jump sequence really was. That could be the reason that both of my short-legged white terriers Q’d. (even the crazy and goofy dog who actually got his TIAD with this run). Go figure 🙂

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: