International Flair - Dan Butcher AKC Courses

25 Apr 2011Steve Schwarz

There have been discussions on various agility email lists lately about AKC courses getting more difficult and/or including more International style challenges like sending dogs to the Back Side 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 of a jump. I’ve only just started doing AKC again after Meeker’s injury and hadn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Earlier this month I ran a Dan Butcher JWW and Std course at the Blitzen trial and he included sequences requiring taking the dog to the back side of jumps. I enjoyed the challenges and liked running the courses. Dan was kind enough to let me reproduce his courses here so I thought I’d show what might be coming to an AKC trial near you.

Excellent Standard

Course Setup

If you are looking to set up this course here are some things I noticed while running and watching others on the course.

It turned out getting to the A Frame was easier than it appears in the course map. The tunnel was probably 25 foot long and dogs were getting lost in it, they appeared to take many seconds to come out of the tunnel. So it was easy to Front Cross Learning the Front Cross - VideoFront Cross on the approach to the A Frame. Handling the A Frame on the handler’s left made it easy to Front Cross the down contact and Shoulder Pull the dog around to the chute. The 7-8-9 Serpentine Serpentine Handling TechniquesSerpentine Sequence was an unusual combination - although not International per se.

The jump after the dog walk was probably a little closer than shown in the diagram, so it did claim some off courses.

Apart from 7-8-9 A Frame combination the Back Side of 17 was the primary challenge of this course and certainly an International style challenge. I’ve started calling sequences like 16-17-18 a Back Side to 180. Most handlers, myself included, drew their dogs past the jump, Front Crossed on the take off side and then Shoulder Pulled their dogs using their right arm through jump 18. Dana Pike did a really nice Blind Cross Jump Wrap on the approach to 17 to turn her 26” jumping BC Given and give him a nice line to the finish with him on her right side.

Meeker ended up in 2nd place on this course.

Excellent Jumpers With Weaves

Course Setup

I enjoyed the challenges in this course. The opening on the actual course was set so the dog’s line was straight from jumps 1 and 2 to the gap between weave poles 1 and 2. So some dogs didn’t collect and overshot the weave entrance.

The most International aspect of the course was 4-5-6. There were two primary handling approaches:

  • Move past jump 5 and Front Cross on the take off of 5 and then Push to the back side of 6, shoulder pull, and run to the triple.
  • Push the dog to the back of 5 and Front Cross over the bar then Shoulder Pull (dog on left) around to the back of 6. I did this and it put me ahead of Meeker down the line.

The next challenge was how to handle 9-10. Most handlers were going to be behind their dogs at that point, so they Rear Crossed Learning the Rear CrossRear Cross 9 to make the turn to 10. I just managed to beat Meeker to 9 and got a slightly late Front Cross so I could pull him around 9-10-11. There didn’t seem to be an advantage to wrapping 11 one direction vs. the other.

I Shoulder Pulled around 13-15 planning on Front Crossing over 16, but ended up with Meeker looking very hard at the unnumbered off course jump. I let out a big string of “Meek, Meek, Meek” to call him off the jump; bad handler! If I had used my lateral motion better instead of the shoulder pull in a circle I could have done a better job.

So I ended up handling 16-18 with Meeker on my left and running like hell - just beat him around 17 to the end jump…

Another 2nd place for Meeker (0.10 out of 1st) - the wide turn 14-15 was probably enough to do it…

I’d recommend setting up 1-7 and/or 9-16 for a good backyard exercise. Thanks very much to Dan for letting me post and discuss his courses!

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