Helter Skelter, Again

The classic design for Helter Skelter is faithful to the idea of a children’s playground slide that begins in a tight spiral and unwinds into loops of greater and greater size building a dizzying speed. With only one number to an obstacle the classic design can be a bit of a space hog.

There is no prohibition against using contact obstacles or weave poles in a Helter Skelter course; Though the course designer should be aware that technical obstacles will drag on the dog’s speed and probably work against the building speed. And they take up even more real estate.

The classic design lends itself to using all manner of specialty hurdles (the tire, spread hurdles, and the long jump).

The down and back design begins with an unwinding spiral; but then turns the dog around and rewinds back into the center. This design has the advantage of using half as many obstacles as the classic design and can be played in about half the space.

The down and back design adds a bit challenge in that the dog that has been wound up for nearly reckless speed has to be geared down for a more tightly turning sequence.

This design prohibits the use of one-directional obstacles like the teeter, the collapsed tunnel, and certain hurdles.

The double-whip design for Helter Skelter remains a bit more faithful to the classic design model. The course begins with a tight inner sequence which is repeated and resumes with a considerably bigger outside loop which is also repeated. This design doubles the obstacle count without doubling the number of obstacles.  

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

I’m really telling my age here: What artist is credited with the introduction of the organ as a jazz / rock ‘n roll instrument? What model did he use? What is/was his theme song? I’ll give you one solid hint: Memphis.


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


2 Responses to “Helter Skelter, Again”

  1. Marsha Nix Says:

    Here’s my guess: Booker T Jones (of Booker T and the MGs). He probably used a Hammond C3 – that’s what all of the rock n roll bands used…

  2. deborahauer Says:

    Marsha – I’m not sure if Bud’s showing his age as much as listening to the same NPR programs we do.

    It was actually a Hammond B3.

    Booker T Jones was recently on an NPR program talking about “discovering” a Hammond B3 in his piano instructor’s home. He said he mistook it for some sort of cabinet. His piano instructor told him that he couldn’t afford to play the instrument.



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