Distance Skills Solve Routine Challenges

I wrote this obviously in advance of my seminar in Peoria. By the time I publish it’ll be a done deal. Maybe I’ll have some good footnotes to attend. It is inescapable that the course designer will have objectives from his own studies to insinuate and those he trains, and thereby torture them with.

I endeavor to create challenges that are subtle but challenging none-the-less while giving the dog a smooth and easy flow. Well smooth yes, but easy only if the dog is well-directed in a timely manner.

These days I’m working a pretty fast dog. But I will say that I equally understand the slow dog and the pure-for-motion dog. As an instructor I must be able to answer to each.

For a moment, since I haven’t subjected my Peoria seminar students with this exercise I’m visualizing only my own selfish interests with my faster dog. In this drawing I’ve added the handler’s position (and relative attitude) on the landing side of jump 3 while the dog makes his dismount from the A-frame.

Once the handler recognizes the control position he has to solve the riddle that goes “how the heck do I get there”. In this race the handler cannot take the time to micro-manage the approach to the A-frame, or the dismount from it. After sending to jump #1 the handler will cut a neat line to the landing side of jump #3 rotating into the pre-cue posture as the dog is released from the jump.

I should not here that one of the things that works against a good pre-cue is a flat-footed presentation. “Flat-footed” to me means the feet aren’t moving at all.  So even while the handler is facing contrary to the dog’s movement he still supports with his movement… albeit leading with the caboose.

In the transition from Jump #8 to #9 the handler again should have a bold position forward of the dog both to pre-cue the turn to jump #10 and to be on the inside of the curve to the pipe tunnel at #11.

This is a bit of a delicate tactic as the handler must release the dog from his finish position on the A-frame without being so mired in the dismount performance that he can’t gain the control position on the landing side of jump #9. So the handler needs to be back, as the dog comes down the A-frame, while reserving a good step to keep pressure out to jump #8.

Heart Break

Okay, the Ohio State Buckeyes were expelled early from the NCAA tournament. And the Arizona Wildcats were as well. Pakistan lost their Cricket match with India. At the same time the myopic USDAA BOD rejected the Top Dog venue opting instead to launch a sub-novice titling program.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

Medicare was passed in the early 1960s so that older folks who would be (and were) denied insurance coverage would have access to health care services. Today the Republicans (specifically the Tea-party folks) are working hard to do away with Medicare altogether and repeal (what they call) Obama Care which would require insurance companies to offer coverage to senior citizens.

So, when they’re done with this: a) How will senior citizens have access to affordable health care coverage? B) Should we just require them to die, and quit bothering the rest of us?


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. My web store is up and running: www.dogagility.org/newstore.

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