Dan Butcher PSCA Premier Std - Cool Bidirectional/BackSide

27 Jan 2020Steve Schwarz

First off, my thanks to Dan Butcher for letting me share his cool Premier Std course and to my long time agility friend Anne Riba, Apex Agility, who set this course up in her training building. Without Anne I wouldn’t have seen this course. Lastly, expect at least more articles about his course and it’s challenges to come!

I went to Anne’s to practice with Flyer in preparation for Cynosport 2019. Cynosport in Tenessee is run on dirt and I like to get some practice on that type of surface (we train and compete almost entirely on turf) a few times before leaving for the competition.

Here’s Dan’s course:

Dan Butcher Premier Standard
Dan Butcher Premier Standard

As I walked this course I saw 3-4-5-6 and realized I hadn’t ever seen a bidirectional jump to Back Side jump Handling the Quad Back Side - Patrick Bucher Course/VideoThe Connection Between Threadles and Back SidesBack Side/Back Side JumpBack Side of Jump Handling Combinations - Video arranged like that before. I thought it was a great use of a birectional jump, giving the handler the choice of which side of 4 to take to set them up for the back side at 5 and the subsequent tunnel at 6.

There are four dog paths through 4-5 and at least twice that many handling options. Which would you choose? (Hopefully, a blog post coming soon!)

Here are some thoughts on running this course:

  • Snap! is very sensitive to my motion (a primary cue after all!) and that kept me supporting jump 2 longer than I would have liked. It took me a couple attempts to convince him to take the jump. Flyer’s experience let me cue jump 2 and keep moving down the course.
  • My initial thoughts on 3-4-5 was to “threadle” 3-4 (take the “bottom” side of jump 4) and then push my dogs around the top standard of jump 5; my thinking that the dog’s line after 5 is directly toward 6.
  • I wanted to have dog on my left as they came out of the tunnel so I moved toward the tunnel as soon as my dog committed to 5 and called them to my side. Alternately, Front Cross Learning the Front Cross - VideoFront Cross over jump 5 to put my dog on my right and then cross again (Blind or Front) to turn them into the tunnel. How many options can you do with your teammate?
  • Then push to the back of 7 with a front cross to put my dog on my right on the way to the teeter.
  • Dog on right through the back side at 11.
  • Then dog on left across the dog walk.
  • It’s a slight Push from the dog walk to 13 and a Serpentine Serpentine Handling TechniquesSerpentine Sequence through 15.
  • I chose to Blind Cross 14-15 to put Flyer on my right for the triple jump.
  • Then cross (Blind or Front) 16-17.
  • I liked another Blind Cross on the landing of 18 to keep me driving to the end and to control Flyer’s line directly over the finish jump.

It was lot of fun to run! I love courses where there are multiple handling options throughout!

Here’s video of Flyer and me running it at Anne’s place (which is a little narrower/shorter than the course map):

I hope to post some small space sections and drills based on this course soon!

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