USDAA Course Design Guidelines Document

21 Mar 2008Steve Schwarz

The USDAA just posted its course design guidelines document on its website. The news post is here. The PDF of the guidelines is available here.

I just took a quick scan through the document and it should be required reading for all of us who design courses for training purposes. Even if practice courses don’t have to be “judgeable” they can at least be setup to have similar levels of challenges and provide safe approaches to obstacles.

I hadn’t heard the terms divergence and convergence with respect to dog and handler paths before and I think they represent interesting concepts to consider. I usually think of pushing, pulling and crossing a dog’s path.

My first thought is convergence/divergence subsume those concepts. But you might converge on a dog’s path and Rear Cross Rear CrossLearning the Rear Cross which turns the dog but doesn’t necessarily push on the dog’s line (if the side change is what turns the dog). On the other hand you might converge on a dog’s path to push them to another obstacle. So maybe convergence and divergence are really just related concepts.

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