I have been a big fan of ScottisSeite on YouTube for several months. I don't speak German, but I gather from watching the videos that Tanja and Claudia started their agility careers about three years ago and now conduct agility seminars on a fairly regular basis. I am fascinated by how different Tanja’s handling is from what we see in America. Her hands are extremely important in her handling--much more important in the hierarchy of communication than is the case in this country. Additionally, at times her body becomes another obstacle on the agility course—one she uses to shape her dogs’ path, not block off-course choices. Tanja also has the option to send her dogs when it is appropriate.
If you watch some of her trial videos, you will see why Tanja needs these tools. German courses are quite different than the ones we see in this country regardless of venue. Unfortunately, I'm not articulate enough to describe the difference. To me the courses are more complex and require a lot of 180's and by-passing of obstacles. Yet the good handlers make them look like there is an organizing principle in their design that allows both handler and dog to really get it into gear.
Now that my ankle has begun to become more flexible, I'm looking forward to working on Belle's speed. I based my current course on one that Tanja posted on June27th. Since I really, really wanted to work on the Ketschker turn, I made the course symmetrical and replaced the weaves with a long, straight tunnel.