Backyard Dogs Practice Sequences - 2018 Sep

22 Nov 2019Steve Schwarz

This is an expanded version of my Backyard Dogs article originally published in the September 2018 issue of Clean Run Magazine.

For this month’s Backyard Dogs exercises I designed sequences, based on one of my seminar courses, so you can practice handling tunnel entrances, exits, and handling from both sides of a tunnel. The sequences increase in difficulty and include pin wheels, serpentines Serpentine SequenceSerpentine Handling Techniques, threadles Threadle SequenceMary Ellen Barry on Threadle HandlingThe Connection Between Threadles and Back SidesTraditional Threadle HandlingSingle Sided Threadle Handling, and back sides Back Side/Back Side JumpHandling the Quad Back Side - Patrick Bucher Course/VideoThe Connection Between Threadles and Back SidesBack Side of Jump Handling Combinations - Video.

The standard 40’ x 50’ setup diagram uses five jumps, six weave poles and a tunnel. I also created a 40’ x 60’ setup with twelve weave poles. As always, adjust the course for your backyard and you and your dog’s safety.

40' x 50' Setup
40' x 50' Setup
40' x 50' Setup
40' x 50' Setup

Many of the sequences allow you to handle on either side of the tunnel. For example, in sequence 1 you could send your dog over jump 8 on your left, and put your dog in the tunnel also on your left and then rear cross the approach to jump 10 (blue dottend line). Or you could front or blind cross the landing of jump 8 to put your dog on your right and treat 9-10 as a serpentine (red dotted line). Many of the sequences give you both handling possibilities; try them both!

Handling on either side of the tunnel
Handling on either side of the tunnel

You’ll also notice on some sequences I’ve put the number in the middle of the jump! That’s my “top secret” way to let you know that it’s your choice to direct your dog over either side of the jump. So you should run those sequences sending your dog all possible ways over each jump numbered that way!

Let’s get to work:

Download a PDF of all 9 sequences on a single page

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 your 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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