This is first in a series. The up and coming topic for the Dog Agility Bloggers Action Day (DABAD) is Internationalization. This reminds me of a science fiction novel I read about 30 years ago, or so… What Entropy Means to Me, by George Alec Effinger, which had all to do with failing gravity.

In dog agility, as a vague notion Internationalization means whatever it is that the Europeans are doing. This might mean either course challenges or handling methods. Too often I think that we look at the Europeans through a narrow window mostly opened for about a week once a year when we field a “Word Cup” team.

In a more dramatic sense Internationalization is a complete myth and an excuse to engage in amazingly bloody-minded course design.

Let me share with you this:


 Judge from the UK… competition in Budapest. Note that the challenges are subtle, and the flow encourages the dog to work in speed building intervals. The most acute turn in the entire course is probably from jump #16 to #17.

I’m not going out on that particular limb to say that this is a “representative” course. But in general the difference I find in American design and European is that the American course designer tends to unleash every fad demon that haunts him; and does so without the merit of experience or empathy for the demands on the handler.

This is the first in a series. Come back tomorrow for more.



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


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