Where Paris Lives

I’m in Cincinnati for a one-day seminar and a weekend of trialing. It’s a cool relationship I have with the Queen City club. I have several students of my teaching. So they swap me trial expenses (travel and trial entries) for a warm-up workshop. Half the day Friday I’ll work with Advanced/Masters; and half the day I’ll work with more Novice students.

This is a bit I was sketching up in the Tahoe on the ride over this morning. It reminds me that more and more AKC courses have dead starts; they’ll begin with the pipe tunnel as this one does, taking away the lead-out advantage. It’s pretty smart if you think about it; a technical lead-out might add as much as 10 or 20 seconds to an agility run. The simple math suggest that a lead-out test can add as much as an hour to a trial day.

The tunnel start is immediately followed by the most technical bit in the sequence, a threadle between jumps #2 and #3. The #4/11 jump offers an option in the turn; and it’s certainly a test of the bar dropping dog.

Out of the technical bit we have the opportunity to let the dog loose.

Letting the dog loose to work is the moment at which we relinquish control and begin to trust in the dog. Reminder: The First Law of Distance Work ~ the dog must understand the performance of the obstacle at a distance from his handler.

All that being said… here’s a very basic distance working set, focusing on the performance of the weave poles. Does the handler really have to sit on top of the dog for the presentation and performance of the weave poles? We’ll find out in our clinic tomorrow.

Mad to Live

This is the last AKC trial we’ll be doing for a bit. I’m looking forward to the weekend no matter what may come our way.

No matter? I want the best of course. I’ve got a solid mental image of the game. When Kory and I step onto the floor it will be “me and thee.” I want that perfect dance that exhilarates and thrills, something of the sublime. I want to live there.

How did Kerouac put it? “… burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

In agility Chi begins with balance, breathing and smooth constant movement while attuned in symphony to the willing play of the pup. It sounds complicated I suppose. But it’s the most natural thing in the world when you don’t force it. Just attend and let it be.

Marsha was reciting something from Barbara Woodhouse the “walkies” lady about the telepathy of dogs. We struggle with that concept only when we try to interpret it. You must know that dog’s aren’t intellectual by our understanding of the word, but are natural and intuitive creatures. Our attention and balance and supple interaction make up a complex dialog… if only we can speak it.

Okay, I’ve gone a bit over the top crazy. I’m perfectly capable of a somber technical discussion of the perfectly executed movement or the dog hammered in his training to the nth criterion.

Without Chi it is an empty conversation. And the moment will be just outside our grasp.


Bud’s Google-Proof Trivia Contest

Name that movie:

1)     It was a prequel and a sequel

2)     It won the academy award for Best Picture

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.


6 Responses to “Where Paris Lives”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Star Wars

  2. Michelle Says:

    You said “I want that perfect dance that exhilarates and thrills, something of the sublime.”
    I had so many runs like that with Mollie; I miss that. I think I will get it again with Elvis. Something to look forward to.

  3. Kelly Says:

    You talkin to me?? hahhaa GodFather 2???

  4. Linda Says:

    The handlers I admire most are those who have the inner peace of positive Chi. You can tell they have it because they make running with their dog look so easy! Even when things go wrong, they exit the ring with a smile and a happy dog. Although my dog sometimes has to be carried out of the ring, it’s not done in anger. I want to be like the handlers I admire, so he still gets the same treat he would get if he had Qd. Agility is, after all, a game. And like any sport it takes a lot of training and a lot of playing the game for some teams to be in sync.

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