NDAL December Courses

NDAL December Courses Go to Source The National Dog Agility League is pleased to present the December 2017 league games and courses. This suite was designed by Wayne Van Deusen. The NDAL currently engages in four league competitions. These are based on the size of the field and the complexity of challenge. December is the final month of the Winter Series, and of course, the final month of 2017. The December 2017 games and courses are pictured below. Links are provided for: Downloading a scorekeeping worksheet Current standing in each league [note that most individual results are graced with a link to a YouTube recording so you can see how players around the world solve the riddles of each course.] 50×50 International The December 2017 International

Training International Agility Skills; Part 4

Training International Agility Skills; Part 4 Go to Source This is a continuing discussion of “International” agility skills in training and competition. The Back Pass Today I’m going to make a case for the Back Pass. This is a skill taught to the dog in which we ask the dog to tightly circle around the handler. In obedience some handlers have taught this to the dog to bring the dog around to heel side. In agility we want to teach our dogs to work ambidextrously, able to work both on left and right. So the agility handler will teach the dog to circle around both clockwise and counter-clockwise, presumably on different verbal cues. Usage ~ Pros & Cons Think of the Back Pass as an alternative

Training International Agility Skills; Part 3

Training International Agility Skills; Part 3 Go to Source This continues the discussion of “International” agility skills in training and competition. It is inescapable that skills learned in practice for International competition will have application to all forms of agility. In today’s discussion we will use the November 2017 NDAL 50×70 Fast & Fun league course. Fast & Fun suggests a deliberate softening of technical challenges with more of an emphasis on flow and speed. Judge for yourself: November 2017 NDAL 50×70 Fast & Fun Certainly this course  lives up to its billing. It is fast, with modest challenges, and pretty much allows the dog to move at his best working speed. The player skilled at international methods isn’t typically concerned with “surviving” a sequence. It is

Training International Agility Skills; Part 2

Training International Agility Skills; Part 2 Go to Source This continues the discussion of “International” agility skills in training and competition. We rely on the International courses played in the NDAL as a basis for training these skills and comparing our own performance with other dogs around the world. Refer also to this discussion on International agility challenges: Masters Challenge. Also, for the sake of reference, refer to: Art of the Natural Handler. August 2017 NDAL 50×50 International In this study I’m going back to an International course for which I was the “Game Master”, or course designer. I’ve always believed that a course designer will design to their own sense of a rational standard. So in an obscure way, the designer gives himself advantage. In

Training International Agility Skills; Part_1

Training International Agility Skills; Part_1 Go to Source I’m embarking on a study, to be published as a series dedicated to training sets and competition that focus on International challenges in dog agility. The framework for this study will be the courses we run in the National Dog Agility League (NDAL). Because we run league courses in our own training center, each league course provides a context for training. We are keen to understand the challenges posed and how we might develop and perfect the handling to successfully master those challenges. Refer also to this discussion on International agility challenges: Masters Challenge. September 2017 NDAL 50×50 International It is a peculiar twist that the International League courses are based on a field that measures 50′ by

Hurricane Harvey Humane Society Initiative

Hurricane Harvey Humane Society Initiative Go to Source I’ve been watching with particular anguish the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey on the Houston community. Being a dog person I worry for the welfare of dogs that have been caught up in this catastrophe. And so, in the month of September the National Dog Agility league will donate ALL income to the Houston Humane Society[1]. Okay, to be real, the income for the NDAL is several hundred dollars each month. The NDAL is not an agility organization that has worried over great profits. We do agility for fun and recreation with like-minded agility people. I might have ambition to do more for dogs (and other animals) in Houston, but I’m an old man who

Distance Trained Dog in Seven Days

Distance Trained Dog in Seven Days Go to Source Have you ever noticed the Novice dog in competition who might happily run past any number of jumps… but maybe veer inexplicably out of the handler’s control to dive into a pipe tunnel or jump into a two-on/two-off position on a contact obstacle? I’ve call this “returning to the scene of the crime!” The dog is offering performances for those obstacles where he earns a lot of reward! This is easy to fix: Include in the dog’s foundation exercises that build obstacle focus for the ubiquitous bar jump. The dog should understand the performance unattended by the handler. By definition, this means “independent” performance. Return to the Exploding Pinwheel Teach the dog the performance of a

Progressive Lateral Sequencing

Progressive Lateral Sequencing Go to Source In preparation for a distance training seminar at Clermont County at the end of April, I am posing a variety of distance training exercises for the clinic participants. You can’t really do a distance seminar the same way you might do handler training. In a handling seminar you just grab the dog and run. Distance is all about dog training and homework and the ambition and work ethic of the dog trainer. And so, I give homework. I’m delighted to present years of homework and study to be accomplished in a few weeks. In today’s exercise, the set of the floor allows the practice of lateral sequencing. The progression has the handler working at a greater and greater lateral

The First Agility Skill I Teach a Dog

The First Agility Skill I Teach a Dog Go to Source I have an ambition with my agility dog to teach independent performance. That ethic is taught early to the dog in a simple exercise… a send around a barrel. The Accelerating Step It’s a mistake to think that “distance” work with a dog has anything to do with standing still. Indeed the movement of the handler continues to speak to the dog. The Laws of a Dog in Motion are constant. A basic discipline of the distance handler is the timing and placement of an “accelerating step”. It is a last moment step that establishes direction and motive to the dog. I say last moment to mean that in the moment after the step