Posts Tagged ‘Queen City’

Ass Pass Class

September 11, 2013


Okay, I have to say right off the bat that I’ve wanted to call this movement a “Back-Pass”. But it sounds to me like the terminology that’s catching on in the world has devolved to “Ass Pass”. Fine then.

Awhile back I speculated that in another 10 years the Backpass would be a common movement in agility. I need to amend that prediction; at this point I think it’s going to be more like two years. Up at Queen City (Cincinnati, OH) they’re offering an “Ass Pass Class”. I’m mildly curious about the objectives of the class. I expect early on they’ll focus on simply teaching their dogs to curl tightly around the handler’s body (both in clockwise and counter-clockwise movement).

What I’m more interested in right now is application. Fundamentally the Backpass accomplishes the same thing as a Front Cross. You could make an argument that it’s a form of the Blind Cross; but the technical execution is considerably different. The performance, by the dog, is to circle the handler’s body neat and tight.


In this drawing I show a five-sided “cluster”. The handler has a lead out advantage forward of the dog. As the dog commits over jump #2 the handler gives a command for a click-wise Backpass (the command I use is “Come By”). Note in the drawing that I’ve established the handler’s left foot pointing to and releasing to the #3 jump.

You should also recognize that I probably would not use a Backpass if the dog turns to the left after jump #3. The movement has a vee-set quality in this instance that sets the dog up nicely for a right turn after jump #3.


In class this week we played a bit with the pull/push-through challenge. I’m not sure if I really designed the perfect working set. But it was interesting.

In this sequence the moment for the Backpass is in the transition from jump #7 to jump #8. Of course the dog needs a good independent performance of the dogwalk so the handler can have a control position well on the landing side of jump #7.

Queen City

Marsha and I are taking off tomorrow afternoon for Cincinnati. I’m doing a warm-up workshop on Friday. Of course I plan to give them a good warm-up. I’ll continue studying on both the obstacle “cluster”, the blind approach, and the pull-through. I’ll have to design something in the morning…


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The web store is up and running. 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.