Course Maps! Pushes, threadles, and obstacle descrims, oh my!

So I’ve been dabbling with making my own course maps. Mostly because I have limited equipment and limited space, and trolling around online to find stuff that perfectly fits my criteria can take forever. So as I like this blog to be a resource for others I thought I’d share some of the maps I’ve come up with. When I made these maps I had six jumps to work with, two tunnels, and a set of six weaves. The space is approx. 50ft x 70ft, though I didn’t use all of it. I really wanted a course that was going to test a lot of the “fancier” handling we’d been learning.

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The first course mostly tests tight wraps and obstacle discrimination. You can see from the video I’ll link at the end of this post that the length of the tunnel used for #7 makes a big difference, as Raafi had no trouble with the tunnel shortened, but Mu cut in when we pulled it out fully. It seems like the dog should just drive straight to the correct entrance for #8 but if you were even a bit behind that wasn’t the case. And getting the push for #9 could cause issues if your dog comes flying out of the tunnel, as #2 is the most obvious obstacle on their line. I handled it a few different ways in the video (push to either side of the jump, and a threadle to backside, which isn’t my ideal choice).


 

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Threadles and pushes are the name of the game for this one. Exact same set-up as the first course for those who don’t like to lug things around. You’ll see me do a forced front for #6, probably because I had just started working on them at the time (these are from over a year ago now!). Now-a-days I’d use the “S-turn” I learned at the Jenny Damm seminar I attended last fall to push the dog around the left standard, use the handbag to draw them over the jump and then keep them on my left as I drive to the tunnel. The advantage of the S-turn being that you can get ahead of your dog fairly easily, thus eliminating the chance that the dog will cut in and go in the wrong side of #8.


 

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For the third course, I wanted something with nice flow as the first two had a lot of technical elements with tight turns. Also I really wanted to test their ability to stick an entrance on the weaves with a lot of momentum. Anyone who has run an AAC course knows that the judges LOVE straight on approaches to the weaves! A tiny bit of adjusting is necessary for this one, mainly moving two jumps (one to make another jump into the double since I don’t have a dedicated double) and adding in the weaves, but not a big deal. You don’t want to do too much on the exact same set-up as the dogs will start patterning where obstacles are really fast. Also, I always like ending a session with a more flowy course to take some of the pressure off and end on a high note!


Here’s the video of the Hooligans working these courses. I’m tempted to try them again to see how much smoother it would be a year and a half later! Raafi’s focus is much better now, that’s for sure, and I can think of some better handling choices. If you decide to run these I’d love to see video of it, or hear any ideas on how to run these:

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