Monday, December 29, 2014

Course Challenges

Although I've been working with Willie on some NADAC courses, I really wasn't planning to do a whole lot of NADAC trialing. However, we went to a NADAC trial this weekend, and I was very surprised to see some pretty challenging courses.

For example, here is the Elite Chances course from today. The tunnel/AF discrimination took its usual toll, but the really tricky part of this course is directing your dog from 7 to 8. While running the 4-7 loop, the dog is on his right lead.  If the handler goes beyond the plane of 7 in order to support 5 and 6, then her return path will cause her dog to switch leads at 7 and turn toward the #4 hoop.

Two or three teams were successful with this path in Elite and Open, but with one exception, it wasn't pretty.

A smoother, less stressful way to get your dog from 7 to 8 is to take a deep breath and not rush toward the line.  Pace yourself so that you keep moving toward 5 without coming up against the line.  Then support your dog's line to 6 from the "x" or from not more than a couple of feet to the east of it.  This will either leave you in a perfect position to pressure your dog's line from 7 to 8 or allow you the chance to step back to "x" without cuing a lead change.

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