Monday, July 30, 2007

Lesley Olden seminar - part II

The exercises I really liked consisted of timing various handling options for one sequence and seeing which one was faster. The results were sometimes counter-intuitive for me, which is why I liked it so much, because of all the information these exercises provided.

What was very eye-opening for me was Lesley's concept of lines on turns. I'd heard about it before, I think it's something I really should have known about, but well... somehow I never gave it as much thought as Lesley did at this seminar. In general, Lesley said (rightly so) that it is always faster for a dog to turn in the direction it is moving in and looking at.

In this exercise it would seem that the shorter and thus faster route would be to shape the turn between the 1-2 jumps, wrap the wing of number 2 to the left and give the dog a straight on entrance into the weaves. Like this:


BUT.... it turned out that for all the dogs (one exception, a smaller slower dog) it was significantly faster to turn right after number 2 and wrap the wing from the other direction. Mostly because the 1-2 line was clearly suggesting to the dog that it would be turning right. Thus, the left turn in the first handling option took longer to register and wasn't as tight as the right turn. Here's the faster handling:




Same thing in the exercise below. It would seem logical to wrap the right wing of number 2, have the dog move between jumps 2 and 3 onto the A-frame, also giving the dog a straight on approach onto the A-frame. Like this:


But it turned out that giving the dogs an angled approach to the aframe, by turning the dog to the left after jump number 3, was the faster solution for everyone.

I also noticed that Lesley is a fan of long offset leadouts, especially when they help you get a tighter turn. And what she suggested here was a leadout way to the right of number 2, with the left shoulder turned towards the dog, left arm leading the dog to number 2 and switching to the right arm as soon as the dog commits. Again, something I'll have to practice, because it was a good idea in terms of the tighter turn it created.

Here's the faster handling option:


This one wasn't as clear cut and obvious. The concept that the faster turn will be in the direction the dog is looking in would apply, but the distance the dog travels after turning left is so much longer that it sometimes outweighs the time gained on the turn. Here are the two options:




EDIT: Come to think of it there actually isn't any distance losst on turning to the left here. Which means I have absolutely no idea why turning to the right worked faster for me. But it did.


And nothing counterintuitive about the sequence below. The faster way was with a front cross after number two. BUT... it was damn hard to get it in. For me it required sending the dog into the tunnel running to number 2 ASAP and giving her my turn cue to number 3 as she was coming towards number 2.
I also tried the second handlig with a post turn after number 2 and with a wrap and then a back cross. My post turns/pivots suck, so it was faster with a wrap and a rear cross.




24 comments:

Johann The Dog said...

Interesting stuff!!! Had me thinking about some things, thanks for the post (and all of them), good info!

Thanks also for stopping by and wishing us well. Mum's going to do a post on the importance, and options, of dog safety in cars, soon.

Keep well my friend!!!

Johann (and Leslie)

Cedarfield said...

Thanks for sharing those diagrams from your seminar. I hate to sound ignorant (won't be the first time, though) but could you tell me where Lesley Olden is from? I'm afraid that I'm not well aquainted with the International scene.

Have you ever had the opportunity to work with Greg Derrett? He has a series of questions he asks at every place on course where there's a choice about which way to turn.

1.considering where you and the dog are coming from, which way is it easier for the dog to turn? This may or may not have to do with which lead the dog is on. Sometimes a change of lead is very quick and natural for a dog--especially on the flat. If you choose a left turn then give Left 1 point.

2.Considering which way you're going next, which direction is it better to turn the dog? Consider the approach to the next obstacle, for example. Is it such a flat angle to the next jump that the dog can barely see the jump until s/he's on top of it? If you choose Left again give left another point. If Right seems better then give Right one point.

3. Finally consider the distance between that obstacle you're turning over and the next obstacle. Pace off the distance going left and the distance if you go right. Which one is longer? If turning left is shorter then left gets another point.

So, if Left by now has 2 points and Right has 1, it would make sense to think seriously about turning left and how you could acheive that. Sometimes even though Left has the most points, you can find a reason for going Right anyway. Sometimes Left and Right seem equal and it's a matter of preference. Usually, though, one direction is clearly faster.

When looking at the examples you've shown in your post, Greg's system seems to agree with what Lesley is advocating.

Uma said...

Hi Cedarfield, thanks for your comment. Leslie is British, just like Greg Derrett, so I'm guessing some of their ideas are probably similar. She's a WC competition and has won Crufts and Olympia. I've never worked with Greg Derrett, but I do have his DVDs, so of course I know who is and his main ideas. Thanks for posting the info about the "point system" for choosing handling strategies.

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