Hobday on Steroids

I promised to share the Saturday Rollacoaster ride. This was the JWW course put up on Saturday:


There are four Hobday boxes on this course. It is a course that pretty much NQ’d every dog that is actually faster than the handler.

The use of real estate was especially devastating. The course runs the handler from corner to corner up the side; then down the side; then diagonal across the field. From a handling POV the handler must have a presence in or near the box to solve. Try solving this kind of thing from 30 ft away (or more) as I have to do with my dog who is faster than I am.

The audience was enthusiastic on the rare qualifying run. It’s a fun bunch of people in Western PA.

If I were to design such a course for a USDAA Masters Challenge class, I’m sure the course reviewer would ask me to tone it down a bit. Masters Challenge is supposed to be extreme… not crazy.

Without doing a blow-by-blow of the course let me illustrate one little moment in the course. In the dog’s path from jump #7 to jump #8 he is set on a wrong course trajectory to a wrong course at jump #1. In the TDAA, mind you, we require a minimum of 12′ for the handler to solve the wrong course option. So the spacing to solve the wrong course option on this AKC course is pretty much what we ask for in the TDAA. For big fast dogs, it really should be a minimum of 20′. And this “corner-of-the-box” option is presented like 7 times on this course. Good luck with that.

Here’s my run on this course: YouTube.


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.


4 Responses to “Hobday on Steroids”

  1. Erica Says:

    This course looks like a blast! Of course, I’d be left in the dust, but I’d love to try this one out

  2. Sue Says:

    I agree this course seemed usually difficult and my young very fast dog and I were sorely overmatched here but it was much more doable in my opinion than the JWW course on Sunday. That course was just beyond the skills of almost every participant there and even the successful runs saw dogs turning the wrong way after many of the jumps (what we might call “lack of flow”). And while we are on the subject the same judge’s STD course on Saturday was also very difficult for the fast, big dogs with obstacles ascloseasthis to each other and an extremely low “Q” rate. Sherry is a lovely person but we won’t be anxious to have her for a judge again and perhaps this is the reason she has been a provisional judge for over 2 years now and the trials she judges take extra long because there is always an AKC rep overseeing these extreme (almost dangerous) courses.–

    • budhouston Says:

      You know Sue, I’m more inclined to blame the course reviewer in the AKC for tough courses. Provisional judges especially are inclined to put out there exactly what the reviewer demands. The downfall in the AKC is that the reps don’t actually get to show their dogs. And so they will not have the skill or vision to even understand the difference between a workable course and what is completely bloody minded. JMHO

  3. Jenn Says:

    Fooey on that YouTube. I was looking forward to seeing you in action.


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