Short Sequence Plus Challenge (Set 1 – March 2020) – Bad Dog Agility Academy

Short Sequence Plus Challenge (Set 1 – March 2020)

Mar 2020

Short Sequence Exercises



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These exercises are based on the 2020 Westminster Masters Agility Championship finals course designed by judge Lavonda Herring. I have included handling failures (the first two exercises/videos) as well as handling success. I would encourage you to try all handling options and see how you and your dog respond.

Threadle to #3, Simple Turn (Failure)

Slice (no threadle) to #3, Simple Turn (Failure)

Threadle to #3, Front Cross #3 – #4

Jaakko at #3

Serpentine #3


Challenge Sequence


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Demonstration and Analysis

Side by Side

  • Jenn says:

    I struggled with either threadle handling and sent my dog off course. I forgot to try the slice option for the challenge. I could barely get jump 3 correct.

  • Hdickin580 says:

    Worked on these drills with my dogs today. Furrrrg doesn’t have a trained threadle yet, so I changed the angle of 3 in the challenge to make it easier for him. Thanks for any feedback! Heather

  • Mary Schultz says:

    Hi Sarah,

    This video is not as long as it seems – I included reward at end just to keep myself honest as my new goal is to ask for a hand touch at the end of every sequence, then use specific reward word (in this case “ball”). This, I hope will keep her from watching/anticipating a ball reward during sequences. So be prepared to fast forward as soon as she hits the final tunnel 🙂

    I’m still not necessarily stopping her if she drops a bar, particularly when very bad handling caused it, or when she goes off course since she really is very honest – it’s almost always very clearly a handling error, unless she’s anticipating a ball reward. It seems to me that errors today were always because of late cues or late moving out of her way?

    These sequences were all done in the same morning, but she had a 20 minute break before the last two sequences (and I first reverted back to the first exercise, so she wouldn’t be so patterned before we did the challenge sequence one more time).

    And Rocket got a turn at the end.

  • Mary Schultz says:

    Well, this was kind of a raggedy session, but it was just about to start raining, so we got out there. Set the jumps at 22″ instead of 24″ – lots of bars. I have got to stop running with a toy in my hand because I think it accounts for a goodly percent of dropped bars, but it’s impossible to tell how much. Clearly, the serp worked best when I had the timing right.

  • Collene says:

    So I just set this up this afternoon, and in person, it is even more surprising how many dogs took that off-course jump (#11 on the original course map). I mean it is way out there, so walking the course, I could see how you wouldn’t really see it as a big threat.

    Then I was trying to think about some keys to success in Jennifer’s run in that section, and I was thinking it was a combination of a couple of things.

    One is Jennifer’s incredible patience to hold her ground and wait for the dog to mentally commit to obstacles. I know this is something I struggle with, so maybe I am just noticing it more because of that. But she talks about doing that a lot in more places than just this run, and I think it is a super big key in many clutch situations like this. You can really see in the video of her run how she is planted almost motionless at jump 18 as her dog exits tunnel 17, waiting for commitment before moving on.

    But I think another key might ironically be a weakness that Jennifer discussed in the analysis video where she mentioned that the teeter was not their best obstacle. Because of that, she had to manage it down to touching and because of THAT (or maybe just intended), she got a little behind on the subsequent run up to the final tunnel (#15-17), ending up sending to the tunnel.

    This allowed her to cut basically directly from jump 16 straight “down” to jump 18 which completely eliminated overpursuing the dog into the tunnel. Running in too deep to the tunnel then results in you running back away from it to get to jump 18, creating a huge momentum for your dog to swing wide and go to jump 11.

    Instead, by making that timely cut, you are waiting easy-peasy almost stopped right at 18, facing your dog.

    I wonder if, for example, in the repetition “Jaakko at #3” you had cut over a little sooner – the jaakko would have been more effective, giving you a better turn where you wouldn’t have also had to give the bypass cue?

    Anyway, this was a lot of fun to think about and thank you so much for showing failed attempts as well! It’s all very instructive.

    • Sarah Fernandezlopez says:

      Really great observation. Most handlers don’t need to give their dog a ton of support for tunnels but they do anyway out of habit! I’m sure I could have put myself in better position with a little more purposeful handling at the tunnel.

  • Collene says:

    I re-watched Jennifer’s run – would you call what she ended up doing almost a forced front cross? It had that feeling to me.

    • Sarah Fernandezlopez says:

      I wouldn’t quite call it a forced front since the dog isn’t going to the backside. I think it feels that way because the handler has to get to the takeoff side of the jump, but the dog is heading right for the jump as they come out of the tunnel.

  • LauraL34 says:

    Glad you put this as a challenge, while watching it on TV, i kept thinking “I HAVE to set this up!!”

    I ran the regular sequence with all 3 dogs…. Agree with what you said in your video that it was a humbling experience!

  • Cherribob says:

    Sarah, I tried it a couple of times and could not get the sound to work on the demonstration and analysis. It had the sound while you were running but not during your analysis. I hope its not my iPad, that would just be sad!

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