Options Minuet

An “option” in agility, most simply defined, is a course that makes more sense to the dog than the one the judge actually numbered. It is a favorite plaything of many course designers whether by ham-handed kludge/unnumbered dummy jump, or something more subtle and inconspicuous.

This figure-of-eight exercise seems simple enough, even gently flowing. I’ve left the Clean Run Course Designer-drawn dog’s path on the map to enhance the illusion.

The savvy handler will immediately see the option created by the straight line as the dog’s path approaches the central jump #2/6. In the opening the dog has a direct view of the wrong course jump. And is the handler’s job to convince the dog into the turn to jump #3.

In the turn from jump #6 to #7 the #1 jump is again presented as an opportunity for a wrong course.

About the Minuet

The minuet is a game typically played for 50 seconds. The idea is to do the sequence over and over until the expiration of time. A quick dog might do this sequence three times in 50 seconds. What I’ve found about the Minuet over the years is that it will expose fundamental flaws in handling. The handler might get away with a thing once; and might get away with it twice; but he will not continue to “get away with it” in the minuet.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

What is the name of this rig? When fishing with a plastic worm, run the hook through ¼” from the front end; then flip the hook around and draw through the body until the barb barely protrudes (for a weedless cast).

By the way, would you use a sliding sinker, a fixed sinker, or no sinker at all on this rig?


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


6 Responses to “Options Minuet”

  1. Marsha Nix Says:

    Texas rig with a sliding sinker

  2. deborahauer Says:

    How about – Texas rig, fixed sinker? Fishing for Bass?


  3. Erica Says:

    I think a sliding sinker is preferred with the Texas rig. Plastic worms rule! Worm guts – eww! I only would use live bait when I fished with my dad (rock bass and sunnies, Keuka Lake, Updstate NY), otherwise show me the plastic (or canned corn).

    As for this being an agility blog, the minuet is one of my favorite take-aways from working with you. It’s a great way to introduce competition pressure to advanced beginner students.

    • budhouston Says:

      Agreed, the minuet is a cool drill. Also, you basically put a time-limit on everyone… so if they get 2 times around, or 10… they all have the same time on the floor. As an instructor, I like that kind of balance.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: