Saturday, September 25, 2010

Meet the Flying Squirrel

I've been working on getting seven years worth of Clean Run articles put into binders so that they are more accessible.  I ran across a figure eight set of exercises that Kathy Keats prepared in "Which Way to Excellence?" (Oct., '04).  I'm always looking for courses that I can set up without having to haul out my surveyor's wheel and tape.  I adapted this basic exercise and came up with the Flying Squirrel.  The possibilities are endless.  (The tail on the flying squirrel is a gate.  If you don't have one, just use another jump.)

In this example, I was working on sending Dusty over the two jumps and wrapping him through the gap to the tunnel without passing the plane of the jumps.  Always work the mirror image of sequences like this since one way proves to be much move of a challenge than the other.  (For Dusty, the sequence on the right was like pulling teeth, and it had to be broken down into even smaller steps.)


Here is a longer sequence using the same set-up.  You can add your own distance line or bonus box if you want to work on distance skills.  

This is the Flying Squirrel on steroids.  By adding the jump below the tunnel, you can work on some pretty tough discriminations at speed.  The gate at the bottom can be replaced with the obstacle of your choice to increase the possibilities even more.

As with most of my training, I don't usually set any bars in the jumps when working sequences using this set-up.  I want my dogs to run fast, and I want to learn to be able to handle them when they're running at their fastest.

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