A Judging Weekend

I begin writing this from the airport La Quinta in Milwaukee (pronounced M’waukee in these parts). I spent the weekend judging for the Milwaukee Dog Training club. It’s a wonderful community of competitors in this part of the world. The club was organized and took good care of me.

USDAA has been somewhat on the decline in recent years around here. I suppose that CPE has a larger draw on the recreational player; and of course AKC dominates the attention of the serious player.

Anyhow, I thought I’d share with you the Masters Jumpers course I put up on Sunday. This was just too much fun. I’m not sure I’ve ever designed a Jumpers course that was so raucous and plain fun to run. It had a wonderful spectator appeal and had them cheering and carrying on in the stands.

My inspiration for this course comes from South African course design where they can be quite playful with the use of tunnels.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

In this course what obstacle was the dog was most likely to earn a fault? And, what was commonly the fault?


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


9 Responses to “A Judging Weekend”

  1. Karissa Says:

    Going from four to five made me go, “ooooooooh.” Cue too late and they could dive into tunnel 18. Cue too early and they could go into tunnel 13. I think one would have to be particularly careful with one’s timing through that section!

    • budhouston Says:

      Funny thing is… I don’t think a single dog bit on that tunnel. You’re right though… that’s the one that makes everyone shudder as they walk the course.

      • Karissa Says:

        I printed it out to set up at home. I can see 18 to 19 being difficult, with many dogs wanting to take #11 as the final jump, especially if the handler is on the left. For at least two of my dogs, though, I would also be concerned about getting from 17 to 18 without dropping the bar or taking an off course obstacle. It does look like a fun & fast course!

  2. Ronni Says:

    #18 tunnel?

  3. Erica Says:

    Dropped bar on 19

  4. Marsha Nix Says:

    I’d say taking the wrong course #13 tunnel after the #17 jump .

  5. Rose Says:

    How about #9 to the back side of #10?

  6. deborahauer Says:

    Personally, after doing 3-4-5 and staying out of the off-course tunnel, I’d end up getting a refusal for not driving up to #6. I’d like dog on left at #5 for a tandem at #6, but imagine dog-on-right was probably more common (there doesn’t really look like enough room for a clean tandem).

    Also, I tend to “let down” after the tough part of the course is over.

  7. budhouston Says:

    The correct answer was: Jump #11; and typically the fault was a refusal. The handler was intent on downstream drama and so tended not to support the dog out to the jump in this rather simple wrap through the serpentine jumps. And so the dog pulls through, and earns the refusal at the jump.

    That doesn’t mean it would play out this way had we put up the course elsewhere in the universe. But that was the historical fact at the courses first public appearance.


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