Lessons in Leading Out

Because I have a continuing interest in distance training for agility dogs I’m always looking for ways that distance skills help solve routine handling riddles. I’ve taken the following from the set of Van Deusen’s “Toughest Six Jumps” to pose the riddle.

What we have in this sequence is the old counter-side tunnel trick following jump #3. Clearly the flow favors the right side of the tunnel; but the tricky judge has put the number on the left side.

The handler will see the challenge down field; will likely take a lead-out to be in position to solve.

The real problem in our too one-dimensional handling world is that the problem isn’t forward and straight down the line at all. The down-the-line lead out comes close to putting the handler in a control position, but doesn’t actually accomplish that feat at all.

The challenge is a lateral challenge… and not forward at all.

This sequence provides a great opportunity for either a parallel path lead-out… or for a sling-shot start (as pictured here). With the handler working at a robust lateral distance he’ll be able to easily gain the control position forward of the dog to solve the riddle.

Of course there are some skills and mechanics that bear discussion. The handler has a job to do from that “control position”. I’ll likely discuss these details in the next Jokers Notebook… if I can get my butt in gear enough to go write the thing.

Busy Busy

Okay, I’m in my busy season to be sure. I have a lot of TDAA business I must attend to; I have the TOP DOG project ongoing (more on that later); I’m involved in starting up a local AKC club; I have classes and private lessons to conduct at home; and I have a heap of chores to do (it’s time to start winterizing the property). Oh… and this weekend next I’ll be in Pocatello, ID leading a handling seminar. I’m really looking forward to that.

You’ll note that I’ve temporarily stopped writing “Bud’s Google-Proof Trivia Contest”. I’m going to put it back in my blog when I’ve finished Jokers Notebook #6. Right now that “book” is a shambles of notes and scraps that have to be drawn together into a cohesive product. As soon as I have room to breath I’ll turn my attention to that.

You know… when I send out the notebook to a trivia contest winner I always include a note that says if they have won multiple copies that they should send that duplicate to some agility training buddy with my compliments. Do you know I’ve never seen a single note from anybody that says they got a free copy from a friend? Strange, that.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training ~ Issue #0 ~ August 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: http://countrydream.wordpress.com/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.

4 Responses to “Lessons in Leading Out”

  1. Adrienne Says:

    That’s too bad, Bud. My friends certainly write me notes that say they were tickled to get the copy! Of course, I probably wouldn’t think to write the author of a book I’d gotten as a gift either. 😉

  2. Rose Says:

    Another way to handle this problem would be to set your dog up at (10,28) or so and lead out to (28,22). Support the dog’s path over the first two jumps and move toward the position you have indicated on the landing side of #3.

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