Friday, August 10, 2012

Chances Practice

Since Dusty needs 9 Chances Q's for a NATCH, I decided I will try to put up one or two Chances courses a week to work on the skills he needs to develop.  I thought this course would offer several different options for running, plus it included an A-frame for Belle to practice on. Although this course is from a trial in April, I apparently never analyzed it, so I am including a brief analysis.

The first challenge is the tunnel/A-frame discrimination which is complicated by the #7 jump in Elite.  I chose to lead out to about (50,50), and encountered no problem with either Belle (at trial) or Dusty (at home).  However, woe to any handler that doesn't at least lead out laterally to about the 55' line because the line will force you left and you will pull your dog to the A-frame.

In Open, it was easy for the handler to get sucked into the space between the #7 jump and the line.  However, if you look closely, you will see that unless the handler manages her own path very carefully, she will be forced to move away from the A-frame before her dog is in the tunnel.  In Novice, the handler can run between the #7 jump and the line and not get pushed left by the line.

The other area of concern is the #10 hoop.  When I ran this at trial, I played it safe and did a front cross after the #8 jump.  At home, I wanted to do a rear cross with Dusty, and it didn't work very well.  Out of eleven tries, Dusty took the off-course tunnel six times, did a 180 four times, and took the #10 hoop twice.  I watched all of the video footage I shot this morning over and over, and for the most part, I thought my handling was pretty good.  Except for the nasty habit I have of fading in the opposite direction before moving into a rear cross.  With Belle, I can get away with it.  With Dusty, not so much since he watches my every little move with such intensity.  My hunch is that this bad habit is what is preventing Dusty from getting from #9 to #10.  If you see something I missed when you watch the video, please, please let me know.

Here's Dusty:


Here's Belle and me trying it with bonus line distance.  Notice how nice her running A-frame is with the bumper in place.

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