Posted Date: September 9, 2014
Elizabeth Dott shares handling suggestions for this course.
Today's training exercises are based on the Grand Prix of Dog Agility course used at the BARK-NH trial on July 18, 2014. Check down this breakdown of the course and try it out yourself!
I would begin this course with my dog on my right using my lateral motion (moving forward and to the side) to pull my dog to the tunnel, keeping my dog off the off-course jump at obstacle #18. From #4 to #5 gets tricky and there are several ways you could opt to do this section. I would most likely double front (cross in front of my dog twice) in this area. I would front cross (changing sides while turning into my dog) the end of the tunnel, putting my dog on my left for jump #4 and then front cross again in front of the poles, sending my dog through them on my right. I want my dog on my right in the poles so I can make an easier turn towards #6 and #7.
If my dog is in the weave poles on my right side, I am simply going to turn left and bring my dog around through obstacles #7-#10 on my right. I will make sure I close my shoulders at #9 so my dog reads my turn to the tunnel. From #10 to #11 is another tricky area. I see several ways I might opt to do this section. The first is to send my dog to the tunnel on my right and continue to drive down the line to the teeter, calling my dog out of the tunnel on my right. If you pick this option, be prepared for your dog to curl the other way out of the tunnel. If this was my choice, I would remain proactive by heading in to pick my dog up and be sure he saw me as he was coming out of the tunnel so he was turning left and coming towards the teeter. Another way is to rear cross (cross behind) the tunnel at #10. I could pick my dog up on my left at the end of the tunnel, rear crossing the teeter to prepare for my next section. An additional option would be to rear cross the tunnel at #10 and blind cross (cross in front of my dog while turning my back on your dog) the end of the tunnel, picking the dog up on my right for the teeter.
Off of the teeter there is another side change needed from #12 to #13. I would either front cross at number #12 closer to obstacle #13 using a bit of lateral motion and sending my dog out to #12 as I cut across to #13 a bit, or I would use a blind cross from #12 to #13 to execute my side change. From the dogwalk at #14 to the tunnel at #15, I would most likely have my dog on my left and either pull my dog to the tunnel using lateral motion, blind cross the end of the dogwalk so my dog is now on my right, or front cross the end, putting my dog on my right side.
A competitor could opt to work either side of this end-line from #16 to #18. I would pick the inside line, working my dog on my left. This way, I can apply a bit of pressure to my dog's line when he is coming off of the A-frame to keep him out of the off-course tunnel at #10 and to line him up for jump #18.
There are so many ways to run this course. How many more ways can you find? Be sure to share them with us and have fun!
This article is part of USDAA's Training Tuesday series that is appearing on USDAA's facebook page. We encourage you to discuss this course on our facebook and to upload videos of you and your dog trying out one of the segments or the whole course. If you have a facebook account, please join in the fun here: https://www.facebook.com/USDAA.
Elizabeth Dott has been competing in agility since 1993. She owns Legendary Agility Training (named after her heart dog, Legend) in Altamonte Springs, Florida. She has competed at the national Level and has put several championships on her dogs over the years. She has also helped many of her students achieve their own championships as well. In addition, Elizabeth runs Legendary Dog Designs and makes custom collars and leashes with agility in mind. She can be reached for questions or classes at email@example.com.