Workout on the Lower Field

As absurd as it sounds, in the first week of February, we got an opportunity to work our dogs in the lower field. I had an early private lesson (Katie & Dave). They schlepped most of the jumps down to the field; so I set up some interesting handling sequences for them. Afterwards of course I had to put my boy on these sequences.

The challenge in this sequence was being forward of the dog on the approach to jump #7 to get on the turning side and give a pre-cue signal to tighten the turn from jump #7 into the weave poles. I’m not trying to say that this was the only way to handle it… the handler could certainly do a Rear Cross at jump 7, but with considerable more risk and likely a less efficient turn.

The key to this strategy was to do a bit of distance work. I show in this drawing the handler giving just enough pressure to get the dog out for jumps #4 and #5 and then fading back between jumps #6 and #7 to fold backwards in a Front Cross that resolves to the turning pre-cue.

Frankly if the dog is really fast the handler may want to layer to the opposite side of jump #1. Though that strategy certainly has a bit of risk.

As it turns out the real challenge in this sequence is in the transition between jumps #7 and #8. The dog’s turn between jumps #6 and #7 is bound to be efficient enough that it creates a line of approach after jump #7 that gives jump #8 a miss. Dog on right at jump #7 is most likely to create the refusal. Dog on left will draw the dog into the approach to jump #8, leaving the Rear Cross as the finishing movement.

This is a bit more technical than what we’ve done so far. The transition between jumps #4 and #5 is very nearly a threadle. After managing this technical bit in the sequence the handler really needs to get down to jump #8 with dog-on-right to draw the dog tight for the turn to the pipe tunnel at #9.


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.


3 Responses to “Workout on the Lower Field”

  1. Rose Kirwan Says:

    Short sequences were just what the doctor ordered to motivate me to bring out some jumps and the weaves. Here’s a link to Belle and me running the three sequences:

    • budhouston Says:

      Your video is great Rose. It was fun seeing another attack on the sequence, faithfully set. The third sequence really is the most technical of the three. You have to get to that last jump before the tunnel with dog on right. Tho, I need to show you how to precue the turn so the transition to the opposite side entry is a tighter line.


  2. 47 Says:

    Thank you Rose for posting those videos. I didn’t quite understand what the point of front crossing was until I was able to compare the different crosses in your videos. Lovely!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: