a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Some Courses From Last Weekend

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Some Courses From Last Weekend

SUMMARY: Jackpot (Gamblers) that got adjusted and interesting Standard maneuver.

The Standard course on Sunday had a maneuver in it that I had never seen before and it was a tough one to decide how to handle. The dog comes out of a tunnel under the dogwalk near you, then you have to push them beyond the end of the dogwalk and turn them somehow away from you to get up the dogwalk. We see the opposite tunnel approach to the dogwalk commonly, but I've never seen this, I don't think. See the 11-12 sequence:

Lots of people took the dog straight out, turned the dog towards them (so the dog makes a right turn instead of a left turn) and then pushed them up the dogwalk. I was the only one that I'm aware of who decided to handle it from the opposite side so that we could do the maneuver we've practiced many dozens of times, and then I just ran along the right side of the dogwalk and crossed in front at the far end. I haven't asked others whether they've ever seen this, and I thought it was particularly nasty because the 11 tunnel didn't stick out to or beyond the plane of the dogwalk, so you couldn't just flip them coming out, you had to actually halt their forward running and turn them in midpath.

The Jackpot is the one where the judge stopped after a dozen dogs and realigned the #1 jump and the #2 weaves. I'm not exactly certain how she tweaked them. I'll have to find someone who was there and can tell me. I'm also not sure whether more dogs got it after she tweaked it, and whether that was because it was tweaked or because they got to run it a second time and not make whatever mistakes they made the first time.

Tika and I approached from the weave poles because there was something about the flow of the jumps on the course that made any approach via jumps likely to pull the dog off towards you after the #1 jump; it's not so obvious on the map as I redrew it here (copying the official course map), but in real life that's what I saw. And most people were taking jumps to lead into the #2 weaves and I think they were all pulling in to the right. So there.

We ran it tall to small (Tika was first) and I see that, of the 26 level 4 & 5 dogs who ran it, only Brandy (16") Qed. Of the 17 Level C dogs who ran it, 7 got it--one 24" (Tika), three 20" (Justine's Jag and Rusty, Susan's Fritz), one 16" (Lynne's Cory who was whupping everyone's butts all weekend), and two 12" (Susan's Nitro and Donna's Chance). These are all experienced handlers with experienced dogs who also do well in USDAA, so I have a feeling that the realignment made no difference.

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