Backyard Dogs Practice Sequences - 2018 July

07 Mar 2019Steve Schwarz

This is an expanded version of my Backyard Dogs article originally published in the July 2018 issue of CleanRun.

For this month’s Backyard Dogs exercises I designed sequences so you can practice handling “all the things”. The sequences increase in difficulty and include Pin Wheels, Serpentines Serpentine Handling TechniquesSerpentine Sequence, Threadles Mary Ellen Barry on Threadle HandlingThe Connection Between Threadles and Back SidesSingle Sided Threadle HandlingTraditional Threadle HandlingThreadle Sequence, and 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.

Here’s the 40’ x 50’ setup diagram with five jumps and a tunnel in Imperial and Metric coordinates:

Couse Setup Diagram in Imperial units Couse Setup Diagram in Metric units

If you don’t have a tunnel you can replace it with a jump: look at the approaches to it in each sequence and rotate the jump for a safe approach. You could also replace the tunnel with a set of six weave poles, but beware, it will make for some very challenging weave entrances/exits! As always, adjust the course for your backyard and consider you and your dog’s safety.

Couse Setup Diagram with jump in place of the tunnel Couse Setup Diagram with weaves in place of the tunnel

Let’s get to work:

Download a PDF of all 9 sequences on a single page

In all the sequences, if there isn’t enough room to set your dog up to take jump #1 using the white circled #1 start with black circled #1. It also changes the challenge slightly if you do have the room!

When you work on these sequences I’d like you to think about these ideas I use to challenge everyone who trains with me:

  • For any handling option ask: Which sets a better line for my dog to the next obstacle? Which lets you leave and move to the next obstacle sooner? Which is faster?
  • When there is a jump wrap, handle the wrap once with your dog wrapping to one direction and again with your dog wrapping to the other direction. It challenges your handling to get your dog setup for the wrap in the each direction and then to get to the next obstacle.
  • Can you handle the serpentines and threadles from both sides? A threadle can be handled as a push to the back side if you are on the other side of the jumps.
  • When moving past an off course obstacle or tunnel entrance can you do it with your dog next to the off course?
  • For back sides can you cue your dog to take the jump around either jump standard? Can you take your dog to the take off side? Use as many back side handling methods as possible!

If you apply those ideas in every practice session you’ll build the skills so you’ll never say “I don’t know how to handle that”. Soon you’ll say “I know many ways and the best way for us to handle that!“.

Run Clean, Run Fast, Run Fun!

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