Monday, March 14, 2011

Chances Analysis - March 13, 2011

Belle, Dusty and I went to the Quad Cities for a NADAC trial this weekend.  Sunday's Chances course turned out to be one Belle and I had run unsuccessfully last June.  (I only know that we ran it before because I checked my records.  Believe me, a week after I run a course, it's wiped from my memory.  Sometimes, it's wiped from my memory while I'm running it ;-)

Handler Lines: Elite-Green; Open-Black; Novice-Red
At all levels, getting the dog to the first hoop was a major challenge.  If the handler failed to face the dog's path from the tunnel exit to that first hoop, the dog would exit the tunnel and come toward the handler.

In open and novice, another major challenge was getting the dog to hoop #7.  Given the path and momentum of the dog coming out of the tunnel, this is really more of a training issue.  A step or two toward that hoop might have helped in some cases, but for the most part it was a question of the dog just not being comfortable that far away from the handler when it came out of the tunnel.  (Notice that with Dusty, David does not have to step forward to get Dusty out to the hoop.  Stepping forward might have even pushed Mr. D around the hoop.)

To gain that step or two, most of us had to step back while the dog is in the tunnel.  On yesterday's run, I stepped back just a nanosecond too soon and pulled Belle out of the tunnel.  Luckily, she hadn't gotten all four paws into it so it didn't count as a failure to perform.  On the June run I handled that section okay, but then failed to indicate the turn from #7 to #8.

To finish the course, the handler had to give a body cue to indicate the A-frame was the obstacle to take.  On yesterday's run, my cue was a little over-stated, but it got the job done. 

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