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Triple Threat, Saturday November 6th

November 4, 2010

Saturday will be an indoor exercise, given that the weather forecast is bleak and we also have our monthly meeting scheduled inside at Hyline. With the meeting taking up some of our time, and with the limited space available indoors, I thought it would be a fun challenge to set up a 35 obstacle course. For those of you who now are convinced I’ve gone off the deep end, please read on anyway…

The practice for this session will be:

Triple Threat

This setup builds on an exercise called triple threat. Though it looks like a run-of-the-mill type of course, there is a twist. Each dog/handler team is to run three times through the sequence without stopping.

But wait — there’s more!

In order to earn the right to run the second time through, the handler must choose a bridging obstacle between #11 and #1. The handler (or dog???) may choose any other obstacle than #1 and #11, whether numbered or not. Specifically, you must take one, and only one, obstacle after completing #11 but before you complete #1 of the next lap. This obstacle is the bridge from #11 to #1. For the final lap, the rules are the same, except that you cannot use the same bridging obstacle as in the previous lap.

The most obvious objective of this exercise is to work the same course from different handling positions – You or your dog (probably both) will start the second lap of the sequence from a different position than the first lap.

The actual, but perhaps not so obvious, objective is to develop a comfort with recovering from a mistake. Stopping, correcting and redoing an obstacle that was faulted stresses and demotivates a dog so much. In most cases, the mistake was the handler’s — you didn’t get to where you planned to be or gave an incorrect verbal, got lost, or made some other handling mistake. In those situations, correcting it not only stresses and demotivates the dog, but it also tells the dog to not trust your cues. Best solution, whether in practice or in a trial, is to quickly find a way to continue in flow. Often, that requires finding a bridging obstacle to get back into the flow of the course. If it is a trial run, the Q is already gone, so what is the downside to using the rest of the run for you and the dog enjoying a well executed remainder of the course and getting the additional training offered by the challenges the course designer provided.

Also, it is worth a Wags and Brags entry that you and your dog completed a 35 obstacle course (11 +1 + 11 +1 +11).

Triple Threat PDF

Triple Threat

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