- Leading out to the end of the chute, making eye contact with the dog and using their lead hand, to "draw" the path from the jump to the chute entrance.
- Picking up the dog on the right side after the chute and sending them to the #3 jump. Most handlers wanted to immediately start turning toward the #4 jump prior to the dog's commitmet and needed to be reminded to have their shoulders facing #3, to have their weight on their right leg and to be supporting the jump with their right arm.
- In the #3 to #4 serpentine, handlers need to be sure to call the dog over #4 by dropping their right hand to their BACK (in this case, right) leg. Be sure not to lean forward, which encourages the dog to by-pass #4 (not what you want).
- Send the dog up to the #7 jump and do a Front Cross closer to the a-frame vs. a F/C closer to the #7 jump which results in a bad angle to the a-frame for the dog (although an experienced dog should be able to compensate).
- Be sure to push up to and support the #9 jump. Check out the handler path I've posted in green - it's different from the real world where most handlers chose to follow their dog down to the end of the teeter. This is where independent contacts come in handy and I highly recommend you teach them to your dog (this also means you need a clear criteria of what the contact performance should be) so that you can stay out of the pocket after the teeter and put yourself in a better place to manage jump #11 & 12. By staying out of the pocket, handlers are able to get themselves to the landing side of the #11 jump, which provides a clear and smooth path for the sequences' to come.
- The next challenge was #18-20. There are several ways to work this sequence. Wed's classes worked it with front crosses & Thurs' classes worked it by using a post turn and then a f/c so they picked the dog up on their right and pulled them between the serpentine jumps.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Class Course - March 4, 2009
For class course challenges, I often take the course from a previous week, make some interesting changes by adding in what I feel is a great skill to be practicing and keep a few things the same. Of course my students don't realize there is a plan to my madness and they come in thinking "Oh, this is just like last week..." WRONG!
Each week I want to challenge my students to think and not become complacent. However, at the same time, I want them to recognize patterns and to tackle them with confidence. That's why along with the new challenges, I will often keep similar sequences from prior weeks so they have an opportunity to run them again and solidify their skill. This helps the skill become ingrained & become a natural part of their skill set.
Check out last week's course as compared to this week's course to see the differences.
On this week's course, I made a few subtle changes such as a chute, a serpentine (which happens to be taken twice from two different angles) and I adjusted the #9 jump and the #11 & #12 jumps so that the angles were more exaggerated.
After running the course, here are the skills I had each team work on: