May 19, 2006

Strategic Pairs

In Thommo's class this week we were running Strategic Pairs, another event that is now part of ANKC competition. In strategic pairs both dogs are on course at once. While the course is numbered one to twenty, there may be long distances and awkward turns between two consecutive numbers. The strategy comes in dividing the obstacles up between the dogs so that the result is a fast flowing course.

In our practice example, we decided that dog one would do obstacles 1 to 3, dog two 4 to 7, then dog one 8 to 10, and so on. As it turned out dog one had the obstacles that would be most likely to cause problems, and dog two had the trickier course sections.

Thommo did well. We were too quick starting our section and had to re-do the first obstacle, but I never mind Thommo being too quick. With strategic pairs I have to be careful that he doesn't see call offs or stopping him running or making him wait as corrections or he gets depressed.

After two runs our instructor said we were finished so I put Thommo away and got Dusty out for her class. But we got through the next turn quickly and were able to have another go. So I let Dusty have a run. She really responded to the excitement, handled all the obstacles without fault and raced around her sections. We had one run past on a sharp turn, but that was my fault. I was impressed, she is not really up to running courses.

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