Ratoza’s Exc JWW

On July 15, 2011, AKC judge Paula Ratoza put up the following JWW course at Cleveland All Breed Dog Training Club, in Cleveland, OH.

An interesting note about this course is that it has no crossing patterns; that is, the dog’s path never crosses itself (if the dog has actually been directed to follow the numbers). As such, the course is a complete serpentine. It reminds me of Stuart Mah’s old “oscillation” exercise. I managed three Front Crosses and a single Rear Cross with Kory. This was his first Q in Excellent and he handily won his class.

I might have managed an even four Front Crosses. But I saw the tunnel option after jump #5 as a real problem. He will dive into a pipe tunnel at any distance with real gusto. So I approached jump #5 with a backwards facing pre-cue. Also jump #6 is a single bar wingless with low visual acuity. Kory, being a young lad, will sometimes run past these as though he doesn’t see them. I kept him or right and steadied his approach with a clear presentation. I put the Back Cross in that broad curve from #8 to #11.

If I did something dramatically different from the rest of the field it was that I layered to the opposite sides of jumps #15 and #13 while Kory worked through the weave poles. This left me in marvelous position to manage the turn from #12 to #13 (a part of the course that was most troubling to the class).

The last Front Cross was an “Inside-the-box” Front Cross on the landing side of jump #15.


In drawing the course map I was mostly faithful to Ratoza’s drawing using the annoying baseline grid numbering; and putting single-bar jumps as she indicated. However, I think my jumps must be a foot and a half wider… with 6″ wider bars and 6″ wider wings.

The drawing above, by the way, is what the dog’s path looks like on the course. It’s a bit of analysis I’ll often do of a course to demonstrate “angry lines”. There’s nothing angry about this course. It was a delight to run.

Games of the 2011 Petit Prix ~ Part 2 Redo


Courtney Keys writes a note on my analysis of In and Out ~ “Okay. But what about the bonus points? If you have a very fast dog…. We played this last weekend and I think I got 30 or more bonus points on my 26-second run.

To this I responded with a pedantic and erudite argument about how I wouldn’t support such a lazy rule variation to the game. Then I looked back at the briefing and, sure enough, it was there: “In and Out is scored points then time. Time is a tiebreaker only. If the dog completes the entire course before time runs out, the difference between the dog’s time and the course time becomes bonus points added to the score.

So I went back and deleted my stupid reply/argument. And I hope nobody actually saw it. [Sorry Courtney!]

I also got a note from Don Wolff saying that he would consider doing the first obstacle and then running his dog to the finish line. After slightly more careful analysis of the paragraph than I’d previously managed, I pointed out the “If the dog completes the entire course” part of the passage.

What this realization means to my stated strategy is important. The faulted-loop strategy isn’t a gimme at all; and certainly does not level the playing field as I’d previously surmised. The only way the faulted-loop strategy will carry the day is if the dog can actually manage to earn more than 1 point a second in the additional run of obstacles. It is a gnarly risk/reward analysis indeed.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

In the story The Shawshank Redemption what was the crime committed by Brooks Hatlen that landed him at Shawshank?


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston BudHouston@hughes.net. The Country Dream web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. Be sure to check out my distance training series: The Jokers Notebook; an (inexpensive) elaboration and improvement on the work I did in Go the Distance.

2 Responses to “Ratoza’s Exc JWW”

  1. Courtney Keys Says:

    Ha. I chuckled. I did not see your reply!

  2. Denise Lacey Says:

    Brooks “killed his wife and daughter after a losing streak at poker.” Love Stephen King and finally managed to be the first to answer a trivia question. Thanks! WooHoo!!!

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