Sunday, October 30, 2011

Course this week!

I set up a course today that was based on a USDAA Grand Prix course. I had to tweak it a little due to course size and I still don't have my chute completed sadly.

I choose this course for two reasons, 1) it allowed good speed from the dogs 2) there was a spot with speed and then a tight turn.

I am trying to run Tangle on courses that allow for nice speed. He is a large strided dog and I am trying to build his experience base to open up and run. He has to either bouce jump if there is a short distance or take a shorten stride. A shorter strided dog can just take a full stride.

With Split, now that he has hit a new level of confidence he needs work on watching me for turns.

In general the course ran really nicely. Fast with a few handling challenges. The same challenge was present with both Split and Tangle. The most challenging sequence was 7-8-9-10. The speed starts at #5. You and the dog are racing through the course, the last thing the dog sees before going into the #7 tunnel is full extension cues (ie, you running your ars off), and then you need to ask for collection at #8.

I tried three different handling strategies with this sequence. When the dog came out of the tunnel, I called the dog's name and used my outside hand to cue the turn, decelerated to get the collection and a turn. Then I set the line to #9 and the teeter. This worked fairly well. The next strategy I tried was getting ahead of the dog but cutting the line almost hugging the weaves, FC on the landing side of #8 and then set the line to the teeter. The bar came down with Tangle. Finally I cut the line on the inside of the weaves, decelerated, got the dog turned on #8 and was ahead to show the line to the teeter. This was the most successful, but I have to say I am not sure that I would be brave enough to try this in a trial.

I am actually very pleased that neither dog took the dog walk. Right now that is heavily rewarded for Split since he has such a spetacular running DW last weekend (he should have a 2o2o).