Reminder: To increase the course size for viewing, simply double click on it.
Cliff Notes Version for Novice – Best Way to Handle the Course:
- Start with dog on right for #1-3.
- Do a front cross on the landing side of #3 so the dog is now on the handler’s left.
- After #4 tunnel, do either a front-cross to send to #5 OR collect the dog after #5 and do a rear cross to send the dog to the weaves (see below for more details).
- With the dog on the handlers right during the weaves, do a front cross after the weaves to send to the #7 jump.
- Dog is on the handler’s left for #7-#10.
- Either a front or a rear cross on the landing side of #10.
- Dog is on the handler’s right for #11-#14.
- On the landing side of #14, do a front cross and complete the course with the dog on the handler’s left.
Skills Challenge for Open – Training Suggestions To Get To The Next Level:
- Train the dog to collect, come in to handler and ‘run across handler’s toes’ for a tight rear cross on the flat. See below for details.
The Details for Excellent – What Worked and What Didn’t:
Unlike the last course I discussed, I enjoyed watching this particular opening sequence. This sequence allowed handlers to push their dog to the #2 jump and then leave to execute a successful front cross prior to sending the dog into the tunnel.
After the tunnel, handlers did one of two things:
- They went down to the tunnel exit and executed a front cross so the dog was on their right going over jump #5 and into the weaves.
- The other option that required a bit more advanced training (and worked very nice) is shown on the map. First, the handler sent the the dog to the tunnel. Once the dog was committed to the tunnel, the handler went down to the landing side of the #5 jump between the jump and weaves, momentarily ceased motion, called their dog over the jump toward them (still remaining in place) and had the dog execute rear cross on the flat (on the ground) by going ‘over the handler’s toes’. This created a very efficient line for the dog from #4 into the weaves and gave the dog a clear collection cue.
After the weaves, most handlers did a front cross which should have worked well. However, I noticed that some handlers aren’t either aware or are not planning the direction they want to move toward while doing a front cross. The path marked in green is the direction handlers should have been heading through their front cross, but the direction in red is where a handful of handlers found themselves. If they followed the red path, the dogs would follow and the #7 jump was more difficult to obtain.
Obstacles #7 through #11 created a simple figure 8 for the dog’s path and a side switch was needed at the #10/#14 jump which was at the middle of the ’8′. Both the front or a rear cross worked well here and the ending sequence was a straight and fast line out.