Friday, September 2, 2011

Chances Analysis - 08/28/11

These are the Chances courses from Sunday's trial at the QCDC.

As in Saturday's Chances course, the first challenge is the tunnel/contact discrimination.  If the handler does not lead out far enough to the right, or if she moves too quickly toward the line, the line will force her to move away from the tunnel and pull her dog to the A-frame.

Additionally, the first two jumps were more in line with the A-frame than is indicated on the course maps.  Therefore, setting your dog up on an angle at the right end of the bar gives him a better view of the tunnel.  Setting him up in the middle, gives him a nice long look at the off-course A-frame while you are leading out.

The next challenge is sending your dog through the box from 4 to 5.  Although the line running right and left is moved closer to #5 in open and novice, this was very difficult for most of the open and novice teams.  Planning your path so that you don't run out of space is helpful, but if you've never practiced sending your dog through a box, there's a good chance that even perfect handling isn't going to get the job done.

Many of the novice and open handlers ran out of running room as their dogs went through the #4 hoop and their dogs ended up turning toward the off-course #7 jump.  A few handlers were able to re-direct their dogs through the box with a verbal.  However, when they ran out of running room going through the box the second time, most of the dogs turned right toward the #5 jump.  One dog managed to make it from 7 to 8 on a verbal, but with no handler movement to support his path, he was unable to carry out to the #9 hoop.  

Planning your path so that you could continue to move left until your dog went through the box the second time and is committed to #9 offers him the maximum amount of support.  In executing the plan, you have to remember to walk, not run--your dog is covering much more ground than you are.  If you move too quickly, you will run into the line.

Q Results
Elite Chances 15 runs/4 Q's
Open Chances 14 runs/0 Q's
Novice Chances 14 runs/0 Q's

Here is the video of our Chances run.  Be sure to notice:
  • Where I place Belle at the start line.
  • The lateral lead out.
  • My efforts to conserve running room along the back line.


  1. Another excellent course, thanks for sharing! I know I would've been one of the Novice handlers that ended up with a #4 to #7 :)

  2. Looks like another fun course to set up at home! :o) The discrimination at the beginning of this course appears far more difficult than the previous one. We have been specifically working on "out tunnel" lately, though, so this will be good practice!

    Sending through boxes can always be tricky. I would anticipate having slightly more of an issue going from 7 to 8 as they will have turning on their mind, vs being prone to maintaining a straight path coming out of a tunnel. We'll see, they may surprise me!

    I also see the turn off the a-frame as being a potential issue for my little guy with a running contact. Sometimes he can be hard to turn when he has a straight obstacle in his path!

  3. Actually, one of the novice teams handled all the challenges I discussed only to go off course after completion of the A-frame. Belle's A-frame is not particularly fast so that challenge is a non-issue for us and I over-looked it in my analysis.

  4. It looks like on video the tunnel opening for the far side of the A-frame was more of a discrimination challenge than it looked like on paper...true? or is that just the camera angle?

    We have no trouble with "out tunnel" discriminations from any distance, but we DO have trouble when correct the "in" or "out" is a contact obstacle...she locks eyes on the tunnel from 2-3 obstacles out when possible.

  5. Getting the tunnel was definitely a challenge. The second jump was off-set a little bit to the left, but if you set your dog up at the start line in the middle of the first jump, the A-frame would get his full attention as you lead out.

    However, even if the jumps were laid out as shown on the course map, for most dogs, it would be game over if you have to move to the right to avoid crossing the line as you run forward.