Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chances Analysis - 11/20/11

Belle, Dusty and I went to a NADAC trial last weekend hosted by 4RK9s in Davenport, IA.  I had a chance to tape the Chances runs on Sunday.


 There are four main challenges on this Chances course.  

1.  The send to the tunnel under the dogwalk.

This task can be made somewhat easier by angling your dog toward the tunnel at the start line.  Something I forgot to mention until near the end of the video.

2.  The send to the tunnel in the upper right corner.
When you watch the video, notice the great variation in commitment points to the two tunnels.  Dogs that commit early allow their handlers to move much sooner toward the next challenge than those who require support until they are almost in the tunnel.

3.  Sending your dog over jump #7.

Notice that on the Elite course map, the distance line running from the right edge of the course to jump #4 echoes the path the handler can take to support the dog's line to jump #7 and hoop #8.  This is not true of the Open and Novice courses.  If the handler follows the line on either of those courses, he is very likely going to draw his dog away from #7.

4.  Sending your dog out to hoop #8 and bringing him back through hoop #9.

On the Novice course in particular, if the handler is on the line, there is no way for him to move toward the #8 hoop.

Here's the video with my commentary.  I hope you find it helpful.


  1. Unbelievably educational as always! One of the reasons Chances is my favorite class is because of those SUBTLE things that make or break a run. Very interesting to see such a wide variety of handlers & dogs.

  2. I just discovered this blog. I have now gone through all of September 2010. I am really loving the video with commentary. Thanks - from Kathy and the Sammies, Coach and Jazz.

  3. You analyze the course sequentially. When I look at a course, I start by finding most difficult sequence and try to figure out where the best position is to handle that sequence. While you look at #7, #8, #9 as separate challenges, I look at the sequence 7-8-9 as the most difficult sequence. For me the best starting handling position for that sequence would to be at (85, 40) like the handler at 6:50. The challenges at #2 and #5 don't require me to do any great handling, just not to screw up. Tunnel #5 is the harder one because both the dog and handler are moving. Moving to the right as the dog enters tunnel #5 can cause two major problems. First, if the handler is early, there is a good chance of pulling the dog away from the tunnel; and second, the further the handler moves to the right, the further he/she is from the best position to handle the 7-8-9 sequence, and some of the handlers went a long ways to the right. Jump #6 is probably the easiest obstacle on the course. Coming out of tunnel #5 the dog does not have many other options. About the only thing that could go wrong is the dog does a 180 and goes back into the tunnel or totally misses the jump. I don't consider either of those to be very likely. Even at (85, 40) the handler is closer to jump #6 and in a better position than the handler can get to for hoop #8. I see no reason to make the 7-8-9 sequence any harder than it is.