Archive for September, 2019

Blind Tunnel Approaches

September 1, 2019

I’m having a good time playing with my dogs in the National Dog Agility League (NDAL). It gets me out on course every week running a handful of dogs, and has done so for about eight years now.

One of the really cool things that the NDAL does is include a link to a YouTube recording of each dog’s run in the results. This is something that helps with my own students. While I see a great deal in real time… having the recording makes every observation indisputable. So it’s a teaching tool for me, and a learning tool for my few students.

I find that I also have an opportunity to learn. Seeing how other handlers in different parts of the world solve a course riddle can be really eye opening.

And this past month, I learned something that I’m immediately taking to my personal training program: Blind Tunnel Approaches

Context

Let me share with you one of the August league courses:

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The bit that is of interest to me is the approach to the pipe tunnel at #16. I knew from the onset that I had to manage the approach; and knew also that I’d have to approach this moment on old arthritic knees, so it would be more a matter of survival with little hope of fluid grace.

Here’s what this looked like with Phoenix, one of the dogs I ran on this course:

Paint Me Green and Call Me Quincy

I want to share with you a run by a handler name of Gabriela Orozco, who plays with Sport Dogs Jalisco down in Guadalajara. This is Scarlett, a Border Collie:

Needles to say, I was gob-smacked. Gabriela actually Crossed after jump #15 and sent her dog around the top of the tunnel to go find the tunnel entry. This is amazing and elegant in simplicity.

I am convinced that this is something I absolutely have to teach my dogs. You know, back in the day, I would teach a dog to seek out the entry to the collapsed tunnel… but that obstacle is now a relic of a bygone era. And I am faced with the obvious question as to why I haven’t taken the same approach with the pipe tunnels. <sigh>

The Nature of Pipe Tunnels

More than ten years ago I wrote a blog post of this title. I could find it on my computer but I can no longer find it on the Internet. I’m pretty sure I wrote it before I migrated my blog to WordPress.

So, I’ve made a “Page” of this blog (rather than a “Post”) so it will always be where I can reach it: https://wp.me/PmSZZ-1v3

There’s a good possibility that after I engage in training my dogs to the Blind Tunnel Approach, I will have to add a bullet item or two to the Page on the Nature of Pipe Tunnels.

Finding an Opportunity to Train

In September we are running courses and games in the NDAL that aren’t begging for a Blind Approach skill. But I can surely find some opportunity to train my dogs.

For my veteran dogs, I have devised these exercises (which have nothing whatever to do with the courses we’ll be running).

I promise to record to YouTube my training progress:

Exercise #1

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Exercise #2

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Invitation

New clubs are always welcome to join us for play in the NDAL. It’s casual and inexpensive. The September 2019 league games and courses have been published here:

https://wp.me/p2Pu8l-9Y

 

BLOG1445 Home

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.

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