We warmed up with the white circle sequence, handling the dog off the right side. The biggest challenges proved to be getting stuck behind the wing jump at #1, which pulled the dog away from the correct tunnel entrance, and getting stuck behind wing jump #6, which pulled the dog toward the teeter instead of the chute. Because the dogs are green, they required more support to commit to each obstacle, thus challenging the handler to be able to get ahead.
At the pinwheel (jumps 4-6), if the handler rounded off their path, their dog would not commit to the #5 jump. If the handler went past the plane of #5 to ensure her dog would take it, often the dog went too wide to make the #6 jump. One student asked where she should throw her dog’s reward after the #5 jump; it should always be thrown along the dog’s path, so heading toward the #6 jump, but not so close to it that the dog doesn’t have room to jump it.
Next, those students whose dogs could weave 12 poles performed the red square sequence, which is a weave gamble. The handler could not cross the line to assist her dog. Also, the weaves headed into a wall, and the #3 obstacle required a tight 90-degree turn, both of which could cause the dog to leave the poles too early. The remaining dogs worked their 2×2 weaves with round the clock entries.
The last sequence (dark squares) presented a number of challenges, including so much space between obstacles 1-3 that the handler would fall behind, causing the green dog to turn back. Also, the flips for the #3 Aframe to #4 tunnel (rear cross), and #5 tunnel to #6 dogwalk (front cross), required good timing by the handler to create an efficient turn. The steeper Aframe presented a challenge for most dogs to hang onto their two-on-two-off contact position, whereas they all stopped beautifully on the dogwalk.