A Quick Lesson in Fast Dog Handling

This is a JWW run taken by Laurie Moe and Cleo.

Cleo JWW

She started the run with an awesome dead-away send down a straight line of jumps into a pipe tunnel. This was right out of the homework we did for a distance seminar a few months ago.


Laurie’s solution for #9 to #12 was to do a layered Front Cross on the landing side of jump #10. Unfortunately, Cleo didn’t “feel” the line, and curled back to the handler’s position after jump #11, surely earning a refusal at jump #12.

Indeed, Cleo ran past the true turning point for a square approach to jump #10, and somewhat spoiled the straight-line send.

Sometimes the shape of the dog’s path suggested by the set of equipment is a complete illusion. #10 to #12 looks very much like a straight line. Right? Well, that’s the illusion. Consider the next picture.


Given the trajectory of the dog’s approach to jump #10, after the dismount of #9, the dog’s path is more logically a “Z” shape, or certainly serpentine. Rather than fighting against the true shape, you should use it to advantage.

You probably could have done the Front Cross after jump #10, as planned. To find the corners and lines of the “Z” the corner of the turn should have drawn the dog more to the left. But the evil judge as plunked a completely gratuitous dummy jump in that bit of space, surely offering a wrong course option to the dog.

So, let’s try it as “Fast Dog Handling”.


Rather than a Front Cross the handler will keep the dog on Post from jump #9 to #11. The threat of the wrong course option at the gratuitous dummy jump remains.

But the crafty handler will allow the corner after jump #10 to be a bit shallow. And then, after jump #11 will draw the dog more to the right and cross behind the dog after that jump (a Tandem Turn). The cross should be timed and placed to set a corner that will neatly line up jumps #12 and #13.

You should practice this in your training center, so that you own it in competition.

A Name for your Next Dog

Laurie, your next dog should be named “Curly Joe”, so that when you step up to the line the announcer will say; “This is Laurie Moe and Curly Joe!”

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. Visit our web store: www.dogagility.org/newstore. You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, a comprehensive reference to all manner of agility games played for competition and fun around the world.


One Response to “A Quick Lesson in Fast Dog Handling”

  1. Diane Bader Says:

    Hey!!! Not sure you noticed but I am on the injured list right now so just judging league. we have missed the last two and more to come I am sure. I had an MRI and find out Thursday just what they will do for me. I was told to let pain be my guide and I want so much to get Jordan qualified for CPE nationals so I run a weekend, off to rest. then run again. This stupid Christmas business is messing up my plans but I keep pushing through. the doc said let pain be my guide….I had two 9 pound, 3 oz babies, he does not know me very well. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. One more weekend, fingers crossed I get Jordan through what I need to. They have insisted on giving me handicapped time….that is not me and I am not handicapped. But they said it is their decision so fine. I give up. I just want to play with my girls.

    Laurie Moe had a dog named Snuggles….border collie that was remarkable. Did you ever see her with that dog? They were an unstoppable team. I met her running UKC at the club. I loved that dog and her as well. We became friends. Snuggles had distance skills that were stellar…..it was crazy. I know she is looking for that in Cleo. She has struggled with Cleo some. I was so glad to hear she spent some time with you at Deb’s. I hope that team is coming together. I have not trialed with her in a while. She normally stays up in IA.

    Hope you, Marsha and the pups are doing great with this cold weather. I am over it. I have been limping around for a month now so I am over that too. I am ready for summer and all the trials and training we do. I think Linda had a date in mind for the tournament…we moved it to a little warmer month I think? We have more interest now since we had the first one. I will have her send it on to you when we nail it down for sure. Have a great Holiday!!! I will as soon as they get me patched back up. And no there was no great story to tell about this knee thing. I had Jordan on the line…took one step forward, no twisting or turning and it popped like a chicken bone. I just stood there and watched my little chocolate rocket go down the line like she was supposed to. Then she realized I was stopped and came back. They think it is my meniscus….Thursday the story will be told. We will be back….See ya!!! Diane

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