Sunday, September 19, 2010

May the Force be With You

Click on Course Map to Enlarge
My plan this morning was to run out and have Belle do a fast loop around the agility course I set up last week while I stayed behind the 20-point bonus line.  Should have been a piece of cake, but I failed to move far enough laterally to indicate that I wanted Belle to take jump #6 after she exited the tunnel (red handler). I decided that this would be a good opportunity to demonstrate the interaction of angles and distance.  Hoping to capture Belle's point of view of my handling, I set up the video camera two feet above the ground pointing toward me. The first clip shows what happens when I try to handle the tunnel to #6 from the red handler's position.  In the second clip, I demonstrate that at normal layering distance, I can be even more to Belle's left as she exits the tunnel and still put enough pressure on her line that she takes the correct jump.  (You'll notice there is a little loop in her line, but nothing drastic.) In the third and fourth clips, I'm handling from the 20-point bonus line.  To help you see what Belle sees coming out of the tunnel I have inserted two frame shots at the end of the video--one from each clip.  If you pause the video for each shot you can see how much the line extending from Belle to me changes the further I am to Belle's right.  I also inserted a frame shot in the first clip which shows how the line from Belle to me draws her to the off-course jump. I played around with the course map and came up with this visual explanation of why the red handler's position doesn't work. Yet for normal layering I can be even further to Belle's left and still direct her to #6 successfully.
This may or may not be a valid analogy, but to me it seems that the black triangle is more tangible or powerful "forcefield" than the red.  The length of the red triangle weakens the pressure being applied to the dog's line.  Even worse, the red forcefield brings the dog's attention to a very viable off-course line.  At normal layering distance, the black triangle shows more pressure being brought to bear on the correct line.  Additionally, only one off-course obstacle is within the black forcefield.  Actually, if the handler moves a little more to the dog's left, an even stronger push to #6 is created.  If you'd like to play with this effect, load the info below into your Course Designer 3.  You can manipulate the triangles just like you would any obstacle.
Begin Course Designer Version 3 For a free viewer, go to AAJheJxF0W9Ik0EcB/Dv77nN9LGmQwwXm7cXmkEWlC2NlGSYiEVEFqFSIGyE1Bw8 W0S+kt4LKSq9DITeRQRp5AvZ6zDKFwtMQs0QqZhzmT3V9lz3+Nzw7sXd5773jztG npH6x01QhQiyksagAxqIMYrw8d+xi2+WFqoQKtd6mOejrvHbFAE2Kj9U9+QGCw1y YSeNLs3stmuQkeR49VwtD34Lb34te5V/JiZr+pES4B47Gz70vca/cmF52z8lpJka 7nYtn0yvHFtcPBKFM2wQejHDOuoOZgF+neSFxrzHC6UHhHAbnz+tbYjz1q5otkzZ rotOy56SF/2+OveIPaV1PSReUlJs0VvxgsawAI24yz5qOlBVtio7jmYxqhfVi3qz 7V9RYaRzEztFHUbjn6mS/XWx8lbsaxiGs2e7rQc/vb4daiRb78SW9z0rimFWT+X3 JJ+wD5tfannmqXuVuG5z23/L1eKa0Pi8/R2meF1BOBVwdELr+kU4rZQqhLOEJqVr okJmZ5Sm810mIaTkz2bkQ59VmjOflBCalfosq5TQovQcYR/hXIBfBSZFovJvOgL+ CJcyok3cONp9P5EMdsSjiaGGZPBm3LgbAO3l+CHmieWuxI3YwL3g5YGHUWNw6I6T /gfbbrA4 End Course Designer
The next time you run, may the force be with you.

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