Posted by: allstaragility | May 28, 2013

Individual Pentathlon Jumping 1

On Friday afternoon, we ran the Individual Pentathlon Jumping 1 course judged by Anabel Arribas from Spain.

2013_17-5_PM_IndPentJump1 (1)

Video of this run can be found HERE.  Many thanks to George Mariakis and KineticDog LLC for sharing!

This class was held outdoors and while it wasn’t currently raining, the ground was very wet from previous showers.  USA was in the last group and 650’s were the final height to run this course so the ground was pretty torn up by the time we got on it.   Even during the walk-through, you could see where the problem areas were going to be surface-wise for the handlers on this course (based on the muddy brown paths in the grass) and it had a direct influence on how I chose to handle certain areas.  I have to add that I bought shoes specifically for the likelihood we would have to run in those conditions and my Vivobarefoot Breatho trail shoes never failed me in that slop!

The other thing to note was that these walk-throughs were extremely crowded.  I remember telling a teammate that I felt the first time I would truly see the course was while I ran it.  With the short, congested course walks, there wasn’t a lot of time to really ponder different handling strategies.  One really couldn’t see a clear handing path in the areas busy crossing patterns.  Also, you didn’t dare stand still very long for fear of being plowed over by an intense European handler! 🙂  The strategies for this course were mainly decided from outside side of the ring and in watching others run it.

The opening was something that we saw often over the weekend; pulling the dog to the backside of jump 2.  In this application, you didn’t want to hold too long before releasing to number 2 in order to cue a tighter turn from #3 to 4 (which I could have executed better).  There were a few handlers who pushed to the backside of #2 and front or blind crossed on the landing side.  Some also chose not to front cross at the landing side of #3 and rear crossed the tunnel instead.

The course map is a little deceiving, but it was pretty close from the end of the tunnel to the weave poles and not letting the dog see that as the next obstacle was a concern (I did see several dogs run through the poles and incur an off course).  You can see the difference from the course map to the video that the exit of the tunnel was facing the poles.  Because of this, I chose to to the front cross before the tunnel so I wouldn’t be showing pressure forward  towards the weaves as Solei came out of the tunnel.   It was still a call-off as she took a brief look at those poles!  I could have been a bit more proactive in showing her the correct line.

The next sequence is where the mud had a clear impact on my handling plan.  You can see in the video the muddy path along side the weaves where the vast majority of the handlers went in order to front cross the end of the poles.  It was very soupy in that area and I really didn’t want to be pivoting around in the muck.  That is the reason I did my blind cross wrap at #5 and ran the other side of the weave poles.  It kept me out of the mess along the poles and allowed me more forward drive through them.  Then, I just pushed to the backside of #7.  I was very pleased with how well this worked for us and  the push from the weaves also kept me better oriented with the course that I hadn’t had a lot of opportunity to study.

Handling from #7 -9 was the source of some angst for me and a few of my teammates.  Here is a diagram from our viewpoint on course.  Solid line is dog’s path, dotted is the different handling paths.

2013_17-5_PM_IndPentJump1 (1)

Several of us looked at the line from the landing of 7 to the tunnel with dogs on our left and felt that it was going to be too much of a push over the #8 jump to the correct end of the tunnel or it would be tricky in the mud to get up there in time. The other side (dog on right over #8) felt safer.  I believe most of us (at least the 650’s) decided to run that path with our dogs on our right.   We were able to watch a good number of small dogs run the course and surprisingly, the most successful option was with dog on left.    There were several handlers who ran the line from 7-9 with the dogs on their right and it appeared that the #10 jump influenced the handler’s line such to show enough pressure that put some dogs in the wrong end of the tunnel.  A few overworked the pull to the tunnel and caused refusals.

I did a lot of studying that course from outside the ring before our run to try to sway my decision one way or the other.   It didn’t appear that people were having any problems taking the dogs to #9 on their left with smaller dogs, so it put us in a bit of a quandary as to how it would work with our larger dogs.  Additionally, so few of us walked it with the dogs on our left because we hadn’t given it much consideration.    I don’t think I had completely made up my mind until I started pushing Solei to the back side of #7 and felt that she would wrap it easily enough on her own so that I could get down the line in plenty of time with her on my left (and a shout-out here to my super grippy shoes!).  It worked beautifully and put me in much better position to pick her up out of the tunnel to the backside of #10.

After cuing the correct side of #10, there was just a moment’s work to keep the dog’s focus past the tunnel to the #11 jump.  From that point, it was somewhat of a foot race to the end. Some handlers rear crossed the chute, but I felt there was plenty of time to get in a front cross before.  As Solei exited the chute, I just had to make sure she saw my forward cue to the first of the next line of  jumps so I could cut the corner to get ahead to cue her to come back into me for the serp from #16-18 and drive through the last jump.   I did see numerous handlers front cross after the #16 spread jump and keep the dogs on their left through the end.

Solei and I ended a respectable 9th place after this run.  I could tell that the surface caused us both to run a bit more conservatively than normal but I was very happy with our time and the clean run!


  1. I taught this in class. It was so much fun, and Asher and I ran it clean!!!! Woot!!! Thanks for the blog, video and break down. It helped me teach it better.

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