Playin’ Around

This was a sequence I designed with a thought for putting up in Boise. But it really never happened. Other priorities came to fore. I suppose it is dead boring compared to that makes-the-hair-stand-up-on-the-back-of-your-neck Bicket’s IHC Standard course I played with a few days ago ( There are some interesting bits, though. It won’t fit in my training building. So for now we’ll just have to call it “playing around.”

I’m interested in the not so subtle threadle from #5 to #6. Part of the puzzle is always whether the handler knows where is the control position for a technical movement… and does he know how to get there?

In the transition between #16 and #17 the handler has to be in position to sell the turn with an inviting tunnel just beyond #16. In order to get into position, the fast dog handler will want to be at a healthy lateral distance to his dog during the performance of the A-frame.


Have you ever done that reverse-the-course-like-NADAC thing? Just to see what would happen? I allow judges to follow that practice in the TDAA. Though I always remind them that they don’t have to be married to the reversed sequence and that some things “just won’t make sense!”

But this time… I’m thinking about Carole’s comment: “I watched a video of this course (2nd place dog) and the #10 jump was the backside as noted on the map.  Oh, the zaniness of International courses!

Dang me, now I can’t resist.

In this zany reversal:

  • #3 to #4 is interesting. The pipe tunnel looms large as a wrong course option.
  • The approach to #7 is worse than blind. It makes me wonder if it would ever be practical to allow a jump to be bi-directional… you know, the way they make a pipe tunnel bi-directional. The fun thing about the #7 jump is that neither approach is particularly easy and could be quite a wobbly moment if the handler isn’t artful.
  • #9 to #10 certainly offers the wrong course option at jump #17.
  • The #15 to #17 transition is delightfully zany with a blind/managed approach followed by a threadle. Oh my.
  • And after having survived the previous bit, we turn the dog from #19 to the weave poles at #20 with the #1 jump being an inviting option.

On the Other Hand

Finding an alternate sequence doesn’t always have to be a matter of strict reversal. It’s an intellectual puzzle to be sure. With a little work you can find an interesting sequence that is different in nature from the original… with no equipment movement whatsoever.

Bud’s Google Proof Trivia Contest

This is an armed forces service ribbon. Can you identify what it signifies? Hint: It has an association with the Roman goddess of wisdom and the arts. Is there anything wrong with the picture?


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The Country Dream web store is up and running. You know… I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an embarrassingly inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

5 Responses to “Playin’ Around”

  1. Erica Says:

    These would fit nicely on the 98×86 playing field in our new building! Maybe you need to take a road trip to Cincinnati to try them out?

  2. Melissa Wallace Says:

    It’s the ribbon for the Medal of Honor, and you have it upside down.

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