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Weavers Saturday Sept 3rd

September 2, 2011

After a long break, we’re back for agility practice. Hopefully, the fall will be drier than the first half of the year was, so we can get plenty of practice sessions before winter. For Saturday, I’ve designed a weavers course.

Weavers is another of the NADAC courses that has the same design for all levels, albeit that the number of poles in the weave sets are varied (Elite has 12 poles in two sets, where one set is executed twice. For open, the set that is executed twice is reduced to 6 poles, and in novice, both set of poles are reduced to 6 poles).

Note that I drew in a 15pt and 20pt line. Feel free to ignore them. The 15pt line may be a bit generous, but because of the way the course runs, it isn’t necessarily much easier to work the 15pt line than the 20pt line. You could place yourself close to the line between weaves #9 and tunnel #10, but then you may not have enough room to cue tunnel #12.

The course deserves an additional comment. You will not see a course with a start and finish on the same side of the ring at a trial. To get the trials moving smoothly, courses are designed to exit on the side opposite of the start. That way, the next to run dog can get into position before the currently running dog has finished. In our practice sessions that isn’t a consideration since we let each team own the course for a set amount of time, having only one team in the ring at any time.

Chances Saturday July 16?

July 14, 2011

This is a course that I set up at WHAT the other day, and it probably still is there. I think Chances is a great class for practice because it is the same course independent of level (except for the gamble lines), and it is a class that we all benefit from practicing. If a number of people would prefer to have a different course, let me know by commenting below, or send me an email, and I’ll design something different.

Even though the course is set now, we may need to move equipment around to mow the field, but resetting it is pretty quick.

Course for July 2nd 2011

July 1, 2011

See you all there Saturday morning. This is another NADACish regular type of course with some discrimination and layering training opportunities.

Course for Saturday June 18, 2011

June 16, 2011

This is a NADAC style course that I thought might fit well with many in the team going to the RAT trial next weekend. It is essentially an Open level regular course, but with some good opportunities to build on distance as well.

Jumpers drill May 21, 2011

May 20, 2011

If the weather stays dry, and for those ready to brave the elements even if it doesn’t, the setup below provides opportunities to practice distance skills, or for those who prefer, crosses. I’ve numbered two different paths through the setup, but there are additional variations possible. I decided not to draw in any gamble lines, partly because they would depend on which numbering is chosen, but also because it may be better for each to chose how far back they want to work it.

Should it be rainy, we can also set up one of the back yard dogs courses inside for those that want to stay dry.

Distance drill

May 6, 2011

The distance workshop just a week away, preparing by working a distance drill seems like a good idea. If weather allows it, we’ll set up in the field. If not, we can eliminate #1 jump and fit the rest in the inside ring.

Distance training opportunity April 16th

April 14, 2011

With the distance handling workshop only four weeks away, the course below can provide some good preparation. It is a slightly modified version of a current sample course on the NADAC group site. The dotted lines are the 15 and 20 point bonus lines. View them as for reference only and determine your own distance line you expect your dog will succeed at.

Practice April 2nd

April 1, 2011

With the bright and sunny forecast for tomorrow, I’ve designed a course for the field at Hyline. It is a practice course for distance handling, part of the preparation for the Distance Workshop we have scheduled for May 14-15. The course combines elements of chances and jumpers such as to be able to practice both chances skills and bonus line type of skills.

For reference, I’ve drawn in some restriction lines, but my suggestion is that each dog/handler team should run this at whatever distance that they feel they can succeed at, progressively increasing the distance. Yes, this may (or even probably will) lead to patterning the dog, but for a practice such as this, there is then the opportunity to take advantage of that patterning, increasing the distance and making it a win for the dog. (If the course image doesn’t display properly, you can click on the image to get a clearer display of it).

As a backup, we can set up the backyard dogs’ course from the current issue of Clean Run indoors.

NADAC Extreme Games Challenge

March 22, 2011

Last Friday, we had the opportunity to try our luck at a NADAC Extreme Games Challenge (EGC) trial. EGC is essentially a separate venue but still within the framework of NADAC. In EGC, everything is ground level. No jumps, and no contacts. The only obstacles used are hoops, tunnels and gates. This makes for very fast runs, where both successes and faults happen very quickly. Scoring is done taking the run time and adding 1 second for every fault on the run, and using that time+faults number to figure yards per second. This calculated yards per second figure is compared to the standard yards per second figure (6.0yps for 20″ dogs, 5.5yps for 16″, 5.0 yps for 12″, and 4.5″ for 8″), and the score is the calculated yards per second expressed as a percentage of the standard yps (for the size of dog). There is a training benefit built in to the scoring system. The general belief is that “fixing” faults is detrimental to the confidence of the dog – it breaks the flow when you for instance go back to take an obstacle that the dog ran by, and probably does more harm than good for the dog’s understanding of its job and your handling. The EGC scoring system pretty much guarantees that fixing a fault will give you a lower score than just going on as if nothing happened. After all, the dog probably did what you cued it to, even if that wasn’t what you had intended for her to do.

There are three different classes, Extreme Chances, Extreme Tunnelers, and Extreme Hoopers. Extreme Tunnelers is essentially the same as normal tunnelers, except that there are a few gates in addition to tunnels on the course. Extreme Chances is like normal chances, except that there are only hoops, gates, and tunnels on the course. Extreme Hoopers, on the other hand, is (IMO) the most interesting and unique class. It always has an area fully enclosed by several gates with hoops as entry/exit points and two wings extending out with hoops at their ends. Usually, but not always, is this made as a circle using 16 gates with a hoop between every group of four gates plus two gates and a hoop on each side making up the wings. Below is a course map for the actual setup we had at the EGC trial last Friday, which hopefully is a bit clearer than my attempt at describing it above.  In Extreme Hoopers, the handler is never allowed to move past the two wings (I depicted this by drawing in a red handler restriction line in the diagram), and obviously, it is not allowed (nor really possible) for the handler to get inside the enclosed area. So, some distance handling is required.

I really enjoyed the Extreme Hoopers runs. Mirha seemed to think this was a weird thing to have in a trial and mentioned this several times during her first run, but she seemed to have fun and finished with a big smile, particularly when Jeff Lyons, who judged that class, complimented her on the run. She finished with no faults and 6.1 yps. (A video shot of that run is below). The other runs also went well, and we scored in all our runs, but without a doubt, the Extreme Hoopers was the most fun class.

EGC trials will be offered much closer to home soon – Elk Grove, CA is a bit of a long drive round trip… The next opportunity in PNW is in Corvallis, OR, in May with an EGC trial May 20, followed by a traditional NADAC trial May 21-22.  Some of the Seattle clubs are stomping at the bit to get started with EGC trials in Washington, so undoubtedly, there will be opportunities at Argus in the near future. I really recommend trying EGC. It really was fun.

We’ll set up some training opportunities as part of our Tuesday sessions.

Directional Discrimination

March 15, 2011

I designed this course to practice some challenges that lately have become very popular in some venues’ trials. The challenges include:

    taking #2 from the back side in the #1 – #3 sequence
    crossing immediately before or after the #3 weaves
    taking the less obvious tunnel entrance
    collecting over #7 in order to do the #7-9 serpentine in a hard right turn
    avoiding the off course tunnel entrance after #8
    collecting for the weave poles at #11

The Elvstads will be down in California this weekend, doing two trials, an Extreme Games Challenge trial on Friday and a traditional Nadac trial Saturday and Sunday. So, we will not be there for the Saturday WHAT training session, but the course is available if the group wants to use it.