OMG! A Back Side in AKC Standard!

01 Jul 2013Steve Schwarz

Surprisingly that was the reaction from more than a few competitors when faced with Linda Robertson’s Masters Standard course at the recent Illiana Collie Fanciers’ AKC trial. I was surprised by the reaction; around here there is generally a high skill level and lots of trials/exposure to different judges/courses/venues so I figured most folks were familiar with handling them. I looked back through my blog and the first Back Sides 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 I experienced on an AKC course were on Dan Butcher Courses back in early 2011.

Here’s the course Linda kindly shared with us:

Linda Robertson Masters Standard Course

So what is interesting about Linda’s course isn’t just the Back Side it is the speed the dog has coming in to it. The short AKC chute doesn’t do anything to slow the dog down either. The off course tunnel was also something to consider - but didn’t actually draw many dogs. There was a lot of discussion of this part of the course but the approach to the weaves probably caused just as many faults (with dogs missing the entry after the fast line from the tunnel).

How would you handle it? Here’s my blog post showing many Back Side Handling Options for reference.

There were a few ways this was handled successfully (in order of popularity by my rough estimation):

  • Push to back and Front Cross over the jump on the landing side.
  • Push to back and Shoulder Pull before the jump and then Rear Cross on the landing side.
  • Push to back and Front Cross on the take off side of the jump (although it was a significant Push to jump 6 and the handler had to get around the wing of 5).
  • Push to back and Blind Cross over the jump on the landing side.
  • Dog on left coming out of the chute and Rear Crossing to turn the dog over the jump. I didn't see that approach succeed.

Handlers who couldn’t be up near jump 5 at the same time their dog was didn’t have many options.

For Meek and me the approach that made the most sense was to Push to the back side and then Front Cross Learning the Front Cross - VideoFront Cross over the jump. As I’ve mentioned many times, when given multiple handling options, I will take the option that puts me ahead.

Local competitor, trainer and photographer Tamara Fanter took a great sequence of photos of me and Meeker as we did the Push to the Back Side with a Front Cross over the jump. I think they really show the steps of the maneuver. Fantastic photos!

Here’s the video of us running the course, you can see me take a slight “shuffle” step in toward Meeker was we approach the jump, It looked like he might curl in to the front side…

Here’s video of Jim Bahr with his awesome dog Pressure handling the same course. He takes Press to the back of the jump, Shoulder Pulls Learning the Post TurnPost Turn/Shoulder Pull/Pivot Turn to the jump, Rear Crosses Learning the Rear CrossRear Cross on the landing side and pushes forward to the table:

I’m trying to track down someone who did the Push to Back and Blind Cross but I haven’t found a video yet…

It was a fun course to run and it was good to put some more challenging handling to the test on an AKC course! Thanks again for sharing Linda!

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