You Can’t Trust CRCD

When it comes to the Clean Run Course Designer, you can’t really trust the dog’s path tool. We are sometimes beguiled by the path drawn by the software and fail to see the obvious. Here’s a good example:

As you can see, the dog’s path has a nice flowing approach to and through each of the jumps. The problem with this dog path… it’s not real.

Truth of the matter is… the course designer has the dog jumping directly into the wall… with scarcely 5′ on the landing side. The dismount of the jump is dictated by the approach. Just draw a nice straight line from the first jump (giving logical accommodation for any turning radius) through the center of the second jump… and you’ll see what is real.

Most dogs will approach the “jumping into the wall” moment with a terrific instinct for self preservation. But there will be a few that manage to leave a dent in the wall.

Never mind the wall. Sometimes the course designer will impose a wrong course option directly in the dog’s path. Now we can’t rely on the dog’s “sense of self preservation”. Indeed, the skill and work ethic we’ve tried to develop in the dog will demand that the dog take the wrong course option… keep your nose down and continue working!

When a judge leaves the dog’s path on the course-map, courtesy the CRCD… it’s advisable that the savvy competitor ignore it completely.

Here’s a sort of sequence I see far too often. The sleepy-dreamy line drawn by the Clean Run Course Designer is so completely false that we’ll have to assume that most robots have never run an agility dog.

The truth of the matter is… the dismount from any jump is dictated by the line of approach. This drawing illustrates the true path of the dog. I even fudged the opening line just a little bit, assuming that the handler might want to open up the approach.

Once underway it’s clear that the dog really has no approach at all to the #4 hurdle in this sequence. If he moves with any energy whatsoever, it is more likely that he’ll initially have an approach to the jump from the landing side. That just isn’t fair.

Just a Cotton Pickin’ Minute!

Okay, you say, when faced with these challenges a good handler would use handling that would mimic the marvelous sleepy-dreamy lines of the CRCD.

There’s no question about it, the handler is the architect of the dog’s path. If we want to avoid crashing into the wall the handler could position himself at a station forward of the dog to make a vee-set approach to jump #3 that takes any collision with the wall completely out of the picture and sweetens the dog’s path to jump #4.

The same handling remedy is true for avoiding the wrong-course option/trap. I might have also drawn this with the handler using a squaring Front Cross rather than a tightly wrapping Post Turn.

Even the final sequence with its preposterous flow has a solution for the master handler. It’s a complicated bit: The handler begins on Post with the dog (black lines and figures); conducts the turn from #2 to #3 with Front Cross followed by another Post to and through the jump (blue lines and figures); and finishes by turning the dog away in Tandem as the approach opens up to jump #4 (green lines and figures).

I May Have Misjudged

It just could be that CRCD automatically assumes a master handler (who can always have a control position forward of the dog). I may have misjudged the course designer as well… it just could be that the course designer/judge was specifically testing for the skills of the master handler. If these things are true, I apologize for seeming to insinuate otherwise.

Bud’s Google-Proof Trivia Contest

What popular television series used as its theme music “Flight of the Bumble Bee”?

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

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2 Responses to “You Can’t Trust CRCD”

  1. Brenda Douglass Says:

    The Green Hornet.
    Bees and hornets sound a lot alike, especially if you’re not fond of either one.

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