Handling the "Holmberg Double"

12 Mar 2015Steve Schwarz

Norwegian judge Peter Holmberg put an interesting challenge in his two small dog courses at a recent trial that started a buzz in the online agility community. He kindly let me share his courses and the “Holmberg Double” is jumps 6 and 7 in these courses:

Small Dog
Medium Dog

He did not include this challenge in his large dog course. The spacing between jumps is 120cm (~4ft) for small, 150cm (~5ft) for medium and would be 200cm (~6ft) for large dogs.

Some people were getting freaked out by the distance between the jumps. IMO the handling that is safest is also likely fastest: set the dog up so they slice each jump. That approach has the dog landing not even looking at the off course jump and to the dog it is just a back side with a wrap. The hardest way to handle it is to 360 wrap the jump(s) wings but that is also the hardest on the big dogs (although could be fastest for mini dogs). Here are the dog paths I like for each variant:

Dog paths

I included this sequence in my Masters class course and I had a little time before teaching so I grabbed video of a few ways I thought the more interesting left hand variant could be handled:

There are literally dozens of permutations for handling this setup… Like so many “challenging” sequences the key is thinking about the dog’s path through the obstacles and then   thinking about the handling “moves” to use to make that clear to the dog while putting the dog on the correct side of the handler for the next part of the sequence.

This was fun to work on and I hope you play with it too!

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