Besser geht nicht

I’d like to share our league courses this week. I’m looking forward to Sunday, and hoping for a sunny day. I was a little whimsical with the course; doing a thing or two you’re not allowed to do in course design for the venues. Let’s face it, this is a Top Dog course. And what we’d like to do is allow our course designers to think, and design, outside the box.

I was faced with a specific puzzle. I wanted a design that would fit in a 70×70 area; and one that would fit in a 50 x 90 area. Unfortunately if you want a course for both, you have to take the lower dimensions on both sides. You wind up with 50 by 70, tops. And here’s what I came up with:

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It’s a fun (looking) little course that makes playful use of pipe tunnels.

At the same time, I want to build a course for a larger area using the equipment here, exactly as set. Here’s what I came up with:

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There are a number of solid training segments to this numbered course. I’m especially interested in the approach my students take to the #5 to #9 sequence. With Kory I’m very likely to be on the approach to the #7 pipe tunnel while trying to direct Kory on the landing side of jump #8. So I don’t really get to handle this. But I’m fairly sure I can talk my way out of it.

In the opening of the course #2 to #3 is a bit interesting too. This might be solved by a solid Front Cross. I’ll take the opportunity to ask Kory to circle behind me in a clock-wise direction. It’s a skill I call “Come By”. We have the reciprocal movement as well in which I ask him to circle behind me in a counter-clockwise direction. And I call this switch.

These skills are becoming routine elements of my teaching now.

Guns

I’m heartsick that we, as a nation, are too sick and retarded to protect ourselves from gun violence. We can’t so much as protect our children.

All guns should be banned, except for maybe hunting rifles. And we should require the purchaser owner to have a hunting license. I’m thinking a new Amendment to the Constitution is what it will take. And maybe we could throw away the one that doesn’t really work.

Truly, we don’t have the will and we don’t have the strength to do the right thing. We are damned to a future of awful violence. We haven’t seen the worst of it yet.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. 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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