Reminder: To increase the course size for viewing, simply double click on it. Also, thanks to Agility In Motion, there are two videos to view as well.
Cliff Notes Version for Novice – Best Way to Handle the Course:
This is an AKC FAST course which means each dog has X-amount of time (look at the bottom of the course map for specifics) to accumulate points (you chose the course) AND do the Send Bonus (which in this case is #4, 5 &6 – in that order), which may be completed any time prior to the buzzer.
A couple of things to know:
- Dogs must cross the start line (shown on the map with a line and an ‘S’ on each end.
- To stop the clock (an important thing), a dog must take the finish jump (from either side, it is bi-directional).
- Each full second a dog is over their course time, in other words has not stopped the clock by taking the finish jump, (again, see the bottom of the course map for the various times), you loose one full point.
I would suggest reading the FAST rules to better understand this game, or post here and I’ll be happy to answer your questions as time allows.
So here is what the majority of dogs did:
- Lead out past the 1 point jump and called the dog over to start the clock.
- Keep dog on their right, to the 1 point jump and then on to the 7 point teeter.
- Do a front cross after the teeter so the dog was now on left and send them into the left side of the #8 pointed weave poles.
- With the dog still on their left, take the #3 jump and begin the Send Bonus section.
- Send dog to the #4 jump, do a front cross to signal the #5 jump and push the dog out to the #6 jump. Be sure to checkout the two videos below to see 1 perfectly executed FAST run and one VERY creative and workable FAST run.
- After Send bonus keep dog on the right and move toward the 9 point jump
- Begin a large loop to the left to collect points while moving toward the finish jump.
Skills Challenge for Open – Training Suggestions To Get To The Next Level:
- A move away from the handler/get out away from the handler/’switch’ back away from the handler or look back over the far shoulder command (the precise command depends on training styles).
The Details for Excellent – What Worked and What Didn’t:
In the FAST class, Excellent level handlers work hard to create a flowing course while accumulating as many points as possible.
Because of where the start line was, the beginning sequences generally included the 1 point jump to the 7 point teeter.
Some handlers went on to include the weave poles and/or the 2 pointed a-frame prior to engaging the #3 jump and the Send Bonus.
Let’s talk about the #3 jump, the Send Bonus and the double line. First, if on the way to beginning the Send Bonus (which is 4, 5 & 6) and the dog was to drop the #3 jump bar, they would have negated/nullified their Send Bonus. Why? Well, since #3 is also #6 and the bars are not reset during a person’s FAST run, there is a risk to obtaining the additional points. In this case, the risk was almost a necessity as the #3 jump set the dogs up for the #4 jump as well.
Here’s how the dual lines work. The send line shown in red is not ‘live’ until all four feet of the dog land after having taken the #5 jump. So, handlers could be in that area as they sent their dogs over #4 and even as their dogs were taking off for #5. HOWEVER, since the red-lined area holds #6 and the idea of the Send is to work from a distance, handlers had to be completely out of the red area in order for the Send Bonus to have been earned…and of course the dog still had to successfully take the #6 jump without incurring a refusal/run-out.
After the Send Bonus, handlers sent their dog up to the 9 point jump, kept the dog on their right and took a few 1 pointed jumps as they moved their way toward the 10 point double. Often dogs curled in and unexpectedly took the non-pointed triple jump.
From there, handlers raced down toward the finish jump while continuing to take 1 pointed jumps. Some handlers used the non-pointed tunnel to accelerate their dog toward the end to complete the course.
Here is a video of a VERY WELL executed FAST run:
Here is a video of a VERY creative and well executed FAST run: