Dana Pike Advanced Class Course

01 Sep 2004Steve Schwarz

Dana Pike put together another course with a big flowing running sequence for us last night. Running that sequence with Milowas a challenge from a pacing perspective. The handling involved running fast over 75 feet of jumps then getting the timing right for a cross to setup the dog's line to the table. While I crave practice on those types of sequences, I was most interested and challenged by the close handling portion of the course.

I’ve reproduced this part of Dana’s course below:

Course With Obstacle Numbers

On the first attempt, I front crossed both Milo and Mr. Peabody over jump 5 to get them on my left side for the PinWheel. I then planned on a post turn Post Turn/Shoulder Pull/Pivot TurnLearning the Post Turn around jump 7 with a rear cross Rear CrossLearning the Rear Cross on the take off to jump 9. This plan is shown below:

Steve's Plan

This turned out to be a reasonable plan. Running the course brought up some issues with my execution. Always forgiving, Mr. Peabody came through the pinwheel fine and my late rear cross only caused a spin before he took jump 9. Milo’s run was less successful, due to my late cues and slow turns. You can see the two off-courses in the diagram below indicated by the black “X”s.

Course Errors

Dana had a few other handling suggestions for handling the pinwheel that she encouraged us to try.

  • Front cross very late at jump 8 and pull the dog over jump 9 on the handler's right. This requires a fast handler or a slower dog. The handler has to be careful about keeping the dog's attention to avoid the off course jump.
  • Send the dog over jump 7 and front cross over jump 8 and wrapping the dog around the handler and over jump 9. This requires a dog that will send to a jump and a handler that knows their dog's commit point for a jump. The handler also has to move quickly into position on the landing side of jump 8.

Both approaches put the dogs on a left lead before jump 8 which helps them negotiate the tight left turn on their landing. These are shown in the diagrams below:

Course With Front Cross on Take OffCourse With Front Cross on Landing

I tried the later approach and to my delight it worked perfectly. It feels great to try a more aggressive handling approach and have it pay off. This sequence demonstrates how an experienced trainer like Dana helps handlers explore different handling approaches. With this course she got some of us out of our comfort zones and had us apply some different handling techniques.

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