Sometimes the Simple Stuff…

You know, I’ve erred from time to time in curriculum design that I might make a thing more technical than necessary. By extension the course designer might design a course for competition that is more technical than necessary. How evil can one be in a numbered sequence of 20 obstacles?

Here’s a warmer-upper sequence that I put in our Sunday workshop. Warmer-upper has to mean a simple not-very-challenging stretch to get everybody warmed up.

But you know, sometimes the simple stuff can lead to a discussion of fundamentals, at least as I understand them. Why would a handler make this complicated? It’s a human frailty that boggles.

The dog turns most naturally in the direction of the handler. So the intrepid handler will dispose himself to the side of every turn. The sequence turns initially to the right, and then subtly to the left. That’s just getting into the pipe tunnel. Out of the pipe tunnel the path turns with a moment of drama to the left, then turns right, and finishes with a left turn. So here’s the question for you. How does the handler truly position himself to the side of every turn? The handler who can a) answer the question and b) get it done… is the master handler.

The simple bootlace configuration can be used to conduct the “parallel path” test. A dog tends to work in a path parallel to the handler’s path; it’s one of the laws of a dog in motion! And this should be true at a distance as surely as it is true when the handler is hugged up against the dog’s path. So in this sequence the handler will stay to the opposite side of the red line while the dog does jumps #5 and #6 away.

The sequence concludes with a bit of technical handling. This is a fine mix of objectives in a training sequence.


Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

These two men share an interesting record in football. What is it?

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.

4 Responses to “Sometimes the Simple Stuff…”

  1. Rose Says:

    Cutler is the first QB since Otto Graham to pass for two TD’s and rush for two TD’s in a post-season game.

    • budhouston Says:

      … Even more precisely Cutler and Graham are the only two quarterbacks to pass for two TD’s and rush for TD’s in a post-season game.


  2. Adrienne Says:

    Easiest way I can see is to lead out just past two, front crossing the landing side of two, send the dog into the tunnel, again a front cross on the landing side of five and on to six.

    Now, would I have thought of that if I hadn’t looked at it from the vantage of where the turns were? Not necessarily from the course map. But just looking at the floor set in person more likely.

  3. Rose Says:

    For me there are two spots where I have to give my dog information or face the possibility of an off-course: coming out of the tunnel and going from #6 to #7. At this point in my dog’s career, I’m interested in two things: speed and distance. With this exercise, I would concern myself solely with speed. Therefore, leading out to #2 isn’t an ideal option for us. It would work, but it’s not going to produce maximum speed from my little Aussie. Instead, I would opt to do a lateral lead out to about (50,15) or so, keeping her on my left all the way to the tunnel. That way I can race my girl to the tunnel. The curve of the tunnel will take care of the lead change.

    It is imperative that I get to about (25,40) in order to do a front cross. Hopefully, I’d be finishing the cross as Belle exits the tunnel and I can make a run for horizontal 33 foot line in order to do a second front cross between #5 & #6. If it seems unlikely that I can get there after walking the sequence, then I’d go with a rear cross between the #5 and #6.

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