Posted Date: January 11, 2016
Clean Run Course Designer is the world's most popular software for designing and sharing dog agility courses and exercises.
By Brenna Fender
Clean Run Course Designer is the world's most popular
software for designing and sharing dog agility courses and exercises. Developed
to take the place of bulky course model sets and accuracy-challenged hand-drawn
methods, CRCD is an acronym known around the agility world.
The latest incarnation, Course Designer 4 (CRCD4), has many
upgrades to make the design process smoother for judges and others who use it
for training, instructing, or giving seminars. One of the most exciting
enhancements is the way courses can be modeled in 3D, enabling a virtual 3D
walk-through of a course. But Course Designer 4 also has a number of other
important new features, including:
- The properties of multiple
shapes can now all be edited at the same time. For example, you can change
the jump type of multiple jumps at once.
- New viaduct and wall jumps
that are different from a panel jump.
- New NADAC obstacles: hoop,
gate and barrel.
- Up-to-date built-in
obstacle specifications newly include those for TDAA, CPE and ADAA, and
include NADAC and ASCA separately.
- A new feature of dog paths
finds "options" on AKC courses.
- The tire jump and broad
jump are now included in the list of jump types that can be changed
- And more!
How Can You Use CRCD?
Agility judges are very experienced in using the Course
Designer program, particularly since many agility organizations, like AKC and
USDAA, require its use. For those who have upgraded to CRCD4, the virtual 3D
walk-through is a popular addition. AKC and UKI judge Arlyn Sigeti says, "You
can see the course as you would...on the ground. You can do a virtual walk-through
and more or less get a feel of what the course is like. This is handy for
figuring out my judge's path, [to determine] if I can actually get into
position to judge certain sequences or obstacles." Emily Hurt, a USDAA and UKI
judge, says, "I do like the 3D feature. It's fun to play with. I do like some
of the obstacle movement features, and being able to mass change the colors of
obstacles. I like that you can select multiple obstacles and rotate them as a
Judges may find other ways in which Course Designer can be
useful to them. For example, USDAA judge David Bozak says that he keeps "lots
of snippets of courses, combinations of obstacles I like, from old courses and
idle thoughts, etcetera, for use/inspiration for course design."
For Classes and
But if you aren't a judge, you can still get a lot of use
out of Clean Run Course Designer. Agility instructors and seminar presenters
find that using CRCD offers many benefits. Jeff Boyer, an agility judge,
seminar presenter, and instructor, says that he uses CRCD to "prepare lesson
plans, handouts, and so forth for classes and seminars." Boyer has many uses
for the program:
"I teach classes from foundations all the way through competition.
Having a CRCD layout helps me ensure I have the correct equipment out and can
track what has been done in the lower level classes. While the lessons don't
usually change much over the months and years, sometimes I change things up
depending upon the skills and progress of the students.
For upper level classes, I design sequences for different
skills to be taught. Sometimes canned courses, such as Alphabet Drills, are
appropriate, but sometimes I want to try something different or use something I
saw at a trial or in print, and want to have it as a CRCD map for future use. I
sometimes give out copies of the maps, if they are my work. I also use text
boxes on the maps to note what I want to show/teach/demo at points on the
courses. If I co-teach a class, I can also note which instructor handles
different parts of the lesson.
I teach seminars in games. How to play, how to strategize
for success, how to win. I use CRCD to prepare course maps for the seminars. I
give them out to the students to study and mark up."
Other instructors and presenters agree that Course Designer
is useful to them. Siegti says, "As an instructor, I use it to plan exercises
for my classes." Ann Bridges, former USDAA, NADAC/ASCA judge and current
instructor, says she finds that CRCD is useful for laying out class exercises.
Alicia Nicholas, who runs Journey Agility, in Peoria,
Arizona, has several uses for Course Designer in her classes. She says, "As an
instructor, I use CRCD to design lessons for my handling classes as well as for
making handouts for my foundation classes. What I like about CRCD4 [is] the 3D
option where you can view the course from different angles. It is helpful to be
able to make a diagram with the handler facing a jump but from the handler's or
For Other Uses
Agility competitors that don't teach, present, or judge can
still find many great uses for Clean Run Course Designer. Hurt finds that it is
definitely helpful for more than just designing courses for trials and classes.
She says, "I design courses for classes, fun matches, training challenges for
myself and friends... I find [CRCD] the most useful outside of judging."
Bridges uses the program in a variety of ways as well. She
says, "I use it as a trial host [to] give layouts to my judges with ins and outs
and where things are." She also enjoys getting CRCD versions of courses shes
competed on so that she can "play" with the courses.
Nicholas has found even more uses for Course Designer. "CRDC
is also handy for making diagrams to enhance blog posts and articles," she
Clean Run Course Designer, particularly version 4, has value
and uses for anyone involved in agility. From novice competitors to agility
professionals, CRCD is a helpful tool in agility advancement.
CRCD can be purchased