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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Competition Courses - Spot 4-12-2009

The courses today continued to have some unique challenges and were fun to run.

First is the Exc JWW course. The biggest challenge on this course was embracing patience! With the two pin wheels starting at #7 through #14, handlers didn't have to run to get places and keeping it simple was by far, the best way to handle this sequence.

Next is the Exc Standard course. The first subtle challenge the #5 tunnel to the #6 jump. Dogs tended to curl in and handlers had to be sure to push forward toward the #6 jump.

On the approach to the weaves, this was a place to let the dog land a bit wide to give them a nice approach to the obstacle. This also gave the handlers plenty of time to get a front cross in. Another note on the front cross, those handlers who stopped their movement until the dogs loaded were generally more successful than those who continued moving since it allowed the dogs to enter on the 2nd or 3rd pole.

The approach from the #9 chute to the #10 teeter was tough. On paper it looks ideal, however it somehow didn't translate the same in reality. No fault of the judge's and it could easily have been the way I chose to handle it (with a front cross after the chute). Remember, it's the handler's responsibility to ensure the safety of their dogs and this was one of those times. 

The next really fun part was #13 - #17, the double serpentine. This is where a stay at the table really comes in handy as I was able to lead out to just before #13. As Spot was approaching the #13 jump, I was sure to say his name so that he was collecting over the jump and turning into me on the landing side. I worked the rest of the sequence on the landing side of #13 and made sure my movement was the cue Spot used to know which obstacle and which direction we would be heading in once he landed.

Check out his videos below. We had a great weekend with 5 out of 6 qualifying runs : )
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