Sunday, August 14, 2011

Preparing for Champs

NADAC Championships are only two months away, and I decided it was time to start memorizing and running some longer courses.  I found a suitable candidate in my files.  The original course is the one numbered on the course map below--there's even a distance line.  All of the unnumbered jumps were added by me.

My focus this week is going to be on memorizing 30-35 obstacles and hopefully being able to run them.  From watching video of last year's Champs, it seems that the course occupies significantly more area than this one.  However, in the interests of building up my endurance gradually, I decided to keep the spacing of this course like it would be at a regular trial.

Friday, I ran both Dusty and Belle on the course above, and both of them had off-courses--Dusty went from #16 to the wrong end of the #17 tunnel; Belle took the #16 jump instead of the dogwalk upon exiting the #18 tunnel.  I noticed that Belle was coming out of the tunnels at a reduced speed and checking in for directions.  So I removed the bars on jumps 3 and 4/16, and had Belle and Dusty run fast little sequences using those two jumps and the three tunnels.  That's a little game we will be playing for the next five or six days.

Today, Sunday, I decided to video our runs.  Much to my surprise, Dusty ran the regular course perfectly.  Next, Belle and I tried the 29-obstacle course I designed:

After a few false starts, I re-thought my handling plan and we were able to get through the entire course.  I was thrilled to discover that I could memorize a 29-obstacle course and that I had the stamina to run it.  

Due to my tweaking, this course calls for a lot of  handling of almost all of the sequences involving one or more of the tunnels.  I guess I have to go back to the drawing board and come up with a course that flows better and that will give me opportunities to work lateral distance in preparation for Champs.


  1. It makes me happy to see that I'm not the only one watching videos from last year and trying to plan my training accordingly. ;o) My training right now is mostly focusing on discriminations at a distance with my baby dog (and contact training for my loony little dog) -- But this post is a good reminder that I'd better start working on longer sequences!

    Are you running both dogs at Champs?

  2. Only Belle is going to Champs. And if I don't beat my body into shape real soon so that I can finish a 30-obstacle course, I may have to re-think going at all.