Archive for October, 2015

October Results Reported ~ K9 Powersports

October 20, 2015

K9 Powersports in Grand Junction, CO has reported results for the final game of the summer 2015 series of the National Dog Agility League. You can view those results OCT RESULTS.

Jumping in to the League

If you have interested in jumping into League Play, the October workbook for the final game of the summer series can be downloaded HERE. Results must be reported by the last day of the month to be counted in league competition.

BLOG1056_06

Training Sequences (Courtesy of Steven Schwarz): http://agilitynerd.com/blog/agility/courses/steve/steve-ndal-2015-10.html

Handler’s Analysis (Courtesy of Bud Houston):

https://budhouston.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/planning-the-league-course/

Blog1061 NDAL

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, an invaluable reference to clubs engaged in league play.

Advertisements

Planning the League Course

October 12, 2015

Before ever walking a course the handler can do a certain amount of visualization of the performance. Your brain needs to draw from the two-dimensional course map and from your imagination a plan that is a rational fit to the challenge. When you finally get to walk the course you have just a few minutes to add choreography to the music that you have composed.

Below is my own (untested and unproven) solution to the October NDAL competition. My plan may change after I’ve walked it.

BLOG1056_01

The jump #1 to #3 opening to this course is a skill I routinely practice with my dogs, approaching jump #1 dog-on-right, using a Tandem cue to turn away to jump #2. This leaves me far enough ahead that I can make a good presentation of jump #3 and slide into a Blind Cross for the approach to jump #4. The only real question about this opening will be the A-frame option after jump #1, which could be compelling to the dog and disturb the pressure and clarity of the Tandem.

BLOG1056_02

The approach to the weave poles is nearly perpendicular, raising the question of whether to shape the approach or to trust in the dog’s training. Know thy dog.

The approach to the pipe tunnel at #7 is a pull-through in a cluster. All that really means is that there’s so much that can go wrong in moment after the weave poles that the handler had better have both good plan and good execution. For my part, I’m going to call my dog into a Back Pass.

BLOG1056_03

I have put a good training foundation on my boy for “named obstacle” discrimination. But don’t you know, in this crowded back corner (the cluster) the #7 pipe tunnel is a cannon pointed broadside at the A-frame. I believe I’m going to step in a take a blocking position. Of course this leaves me behind after the dismount of the pipe tunnel. A notable feature of this set of equipment is the unused expanse of real estate at the center of the field. Mostly I will just be driving from the back seat.

The handler should be aware of the wrong course option posed by the jump to the right of the A-frame after jump #10.

BLOG1056_04

This is the relaxed part of the overall course. The A-frame puts the dog back into the “cluster”; the correct entry to the #12 pipe tunnel probably shouldn’t be taken for granted. And out of the weave poles the handler might want to open up the approach to the #14 jump, just a bit, so that it’s not completely depressed.

Otherwise, the handler should be working to be in position for whatever is the plan after jump #17.

BLOG1056_05

#17 to #19 is a bit technical. The handler has to call the dog into a modest “pull-through” after jump #17 and somehow sell the turn out of the pipe tunnel to jump #19. Don’t be fooled by the line that turns neatly out of the tunnel in the drawing. Life doesn’t always go like the drawing.

Anyhow, I’ll endeavor to precue the change of directions by giving a little “backy-uppy” presentation of the tunnel.

Jumping in to the League

If you have interested in jumping into League Play, the October workbook for the final game of the summer series can be downloaded HERE.

BLOG1056_06

Training Sequences (Courtesy of Steven Schwarz):

http://agilitynerd.com/blog/agility/courses/steve/steve-ndal-2015-10.html

Blog1056 Home

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, an invaluable reference to clubs engaged in league play.

An Interesting Gamble

October 6, 2015

I return from Portland judging for the Columbia Agility Team in southern Washington, and have survived the red-eye. Though there was certainly a day of tired brain and discombobulation.

Below I’ll share with you one of two Masters Gamblers riddles I put up on the weekend. I was just a little bit disappointed in the qualifying rate; because, don’t you know tunnel-jump/tunnel-jump sounds a lot like a Starters gamble. To be sure the gamble featured an implicit change of directions and an obstacle discrimination. So for sure it is a test of Masters skills.

Coincidentally, just a few days ago in this blog space I published a discussion of teaching the Tandem Turn (http://wp.me/pmSZZ-1ji) which is a simple skill used to turn the dog away from the side the handler is working. This is to my thinking a very basic, necessary and fundamental movement in a handler’s repertoire. I’ve been teaching this skill for maybe 20 years. I reckon just about everyone who has ever trained with me has it mastered.

Course below.

BLOG1055

The biggest mistake handler’s made in this gamble was making the approach to the start of the gamble from the jump immediately to the right of the #1 pipe tunnel. As the handler really needs to be at “X” to sell the change of directions, the approach should have been made from the jump I’ve colored red in this drawing. This judicious use of real estate allows the handler to send the dog up to the tunnel and move to the control position.

In a Tandem (getting the dog to turn away) the handler should reserve enough room to take a strong step or two in the direction of the turn. And so it was a huge error for any handler to arrive at the jump all velcro’d against the dog’s path with no room to take a step. The lateral distance is especially important to handlers who use mostly relative directionals to direct their dogs.

Key to convincing the dog into the turn is to actually make it look like you’re turning a corner with a sense of purpose and even urgency. The most impressive attribute of the Tandem turn is that it creates acceleration and separation. Sell it to the dog.

And I thought this gamble was going to be about the “named obstacle recognition” in the discrimination.

The Other Gamble

I’d like to have a discussion about the other gamble as well. But we have the Petit Prix (the very most amazing small dog agility event) next week and a lot of chores and obligations I need to catch up with because I’ve been gallivanting around the country. I’ll get back to it when I can come up for air.

Blog1055 Home

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, an invaluable reference to clubs engaged in league play.