Pocatello Illusion

I delight in prospecting illusions in agility course design. I put up the following working set for our final exercise on Sunday in Pocatello.

This short course might be considered to be two distinct parts: the flow to the table and the flow after the table. Certainly the second part is more technical. But it is the first part that illustrates the illusion that I was going after.

This is a part that runs tougher than it walks. The most common error was a simple refusal on the inside of a jump. Though there was too the occasional dropped bar.

After running I asked everybody “how many corners are in this sequence, from the start, to the table?” The most common answer was “six”. And only one person answered correctly: “two”.

Handling should always begin with an analysis of the dog’s path. The opening series of jumps were deliberately set to suggest an arc with six discrete points. So the handler is tempted to run the “arc” showing the constant acceleration of change of direction and frankly complicates the opening to have six timing events rather than only two.

One of the basic laws of a dog in motion is that a dog tends to move in a path parallel to the handler’s path. This is the guiding principle of the parallel path lead-out. The handler of the very fast and well focused dog could use this to minimize the length of the handler’s path; ensuring the best speed from the dog; and removing much of the risk associated with getting behind; (because, as we all know, dog forward of the handler tends to curl back to the handler’s position).

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

He was Godunov. She was?

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


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.


One Response to “Pocatello Illusion”

  1. Cindy Says:

    Lyudmila Vlasova

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