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No Bars Down

September 16, 2011

This is more of a handling practice setup than an true course. I think we sometimes focus too much on completing a full course than on practicing particular skills. Still, for those who want to run it as a course, that option is there as well.

There is rain in the forecast for tomorrow, so for the sake of safety for the dogs, I’m using hoops instead of jumps. Actually, for practicing handling, hoops are better than jumps, because they force the handler to give much clearer directions than when using jumps. This is because there is no obstacle performance at the hoop, so the need to really manage the path on the ground is much greater. You have to manage 100% of the time, because while at a jump, you can catch a breather during the dog’s air time, not an option with hoops. Also, because most dogs run faster with hoops, the timing of cues becomes even more critical.

The setup does include the dog walk, and I have made the entry quite straight, again due to the rain forecast. If you don’t want to practice the dog walk, or if it appears too slippery, you may want to skip it. The AF on the right side is there to provide an opportunity to work that obstacle, but it isn’t included in the numbered sequence.

Main practice opportunities:
– tunnel/DW discrimination
– serpentines
– direction change
– distance handling (or alternatively, handler sprinting)

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