Saturday, May 8, 2010
Fri - Northwest Obed. Club, IL, Courses
Day one back in the Midwest at my favorite former 'home' club, Northwest Obedience Dog Training Club.
It was so darned good to see my old agility pals. I really do miss them a ton. : )
Tonight Dan and I (Okay, mostly me) steered the club toward taking us to Portillos, which is a Chicago favorite and about 2 steps above fast food (although they do have one heck of a drive thru!). Portillos has REAL Chicago Vienna hot dogs and I had the roast beef with Italian sausage and mozerella cheese on French bread (called a Combo) which I like 'dipped' or 'wet', (they dump the whole sandwich in the au jus). Very, very nummy. Dan thought the hot dog was great and that my combo was amazing. I think we're going to have to get more before we leave : )
We sat and chatted with old friends for quite a long time about subjects that were just plain funny, goofy and simply good-humored. It was so much fun!
OK, on to today's course!
I judged Standard today and overall, I was very pleased and enjoyed watching the dogs run the course. It was challenging, but there was a ton of room between obstacles and as always, I would love to set this course up in my yard to train on. Moving on to the course analysis, here it goes.
After the #2 weave poles, some handlers were attempting a front cross and were moving straight ahead (mostly in a backward walk) toward the unnumbered off course jump. At least 2 handfuls of dogs took this jump, believing their handler was signaling it in some new cryptic maneuver. It became even more interesting when the handlers stared at their dogs like they'd lost their mind for taking the jump. I wonder if those handlers had the run on tape so they could review their motion which I'm sure, they were unaware of.
The big trap on this course was from the end of the #5 dog walk to the #7 tunnel. Specifically, a large portion of the dogs went up the off-course a-frame rather than go to the #7 tunnel. Handlers who went to the end of the dog walk with their dogs were left trying to manuever around the #6 winged jump and forced to push out to the #7 tunnel. Most dogs didn't buy into the cue and went up the a-frame despiste desperate pleas from handlers. I also think the winged #6 jump forced handlers to plan their path carefully as well. Diane Snaders did a great job of working this line by supporting the on-ramp of the dog walk and then allowing the dog to work the down side of the dog walk independently while she went to the landing side of #6 so she was in an optimal position to support the tunnel.
The other trouble spot on the course was from the #16 tire back to the #17 jump. Most handlers were on the left side of the course (as you view the map) and assumed their dog was going to naturally pull in to the #17 jump toward them. While some dogs did, most handlers were surprised at how they had to work the #17 jump.
It was a fun course to watch run and as always, I enjoyed watching the various handling strategies.f