Posted by: allstaragility | June 22, 2013

Individual Pentathlon Agility 2

The first run of Saturday for Solei and I was the Individual Pentathlon Agility 2 judged by Anabel Arribas.  This was the 3rd round of the Individual Pentathlon and we were in 2nd place cumulatively after the first two rounds.  This meant that our goal was to continue on our pace, getting through the courses as efficiently as possible while not taking any huge risks to be the fastest.   Video of our run can be viewed HERE.

2013_18-5_AM_IndPentAg2 (2)

I set Solei at the #1 jump in line to take the correct approach side of #2, but still cued it more as a lead-out pivot, bringing her to my right hand just to ensure she wouldn’t mistake a serpentine cue and go to the back side of #2.   After #3, there was what appeared to be a tricky discrimination getting the dogs from 3 to 4, particularly if you had a dog that would eagerly choose the dogwalk over a tunnel.  I was apparently not alone in this concern, however, the dogs tended to come off of the #3 jump focused on the handler and pulled towards the tunnel fairly naturally.  We were the second height to run and were able to see several handlers who overworked getting the dog’s focus and ended up with the dog actually taking the wrong end of the tunnel.   This was a fortunate hint to remind me to trust my dog and not micromanage her path.


The piece of the course I felt needed the most finessing was from #4-8.  I wanted to avoid a large turn from #5-6 so as soon as Solei was headed towards the correct end of the tunnel, I ran up to the #5 spread, decelerated to cue more collection and also affect her line so that she would take it on the desired shorter path to #6.  The only problem this caused was that Solei landed more towards the tunnel after #6  and I really had to work to get her onto the correct side of #7.   It looks a lot smoother in the video than it felt while I was running it!  That is one area where I had hoped to have a bit more time to analyze my handling plan to see if I could have improved it any.   A lot of handlers then just pulled and rear crossed the weaves, but I wasn’t taking any chances so forced another front cross before the poles which cost us a little time.

From the weaves, it was fairly simple to cue the back-side/wrap/blind cross at  #9 with my right hand and I easily kept moving forward to the teeter and picked her back up on my right side.  From the teeter, it was my goal to get up to cue better collection at the #11 jump.  Solei held this teeter nicely, however wraps tend to be harder for many dogs when they are accelerating from a stop (2o2o in this case).  I simply needed to be a bit more in her face before #11 to get a slightly better turn off that jump to the tunnel.

I knew it wouldn’t be much trouble for her to find the dogwalk as it was just a matter of connecting with her out of the tunnel and telling her to go to it (several dogs ran passed the dogwalk looking for their handlers who left them hanging out of the tunnel in their effort to get down the line).  You can see in the video where I held just a moment to reconnect with her as she emerged from the tunnel.  Then, for me, came the toughest decision on this course;  to run the dogwalk or cue a stop?  Solei has a very solid running dogwalk when it is a fairly straight exit.  Turns are something we have not yet mastered enough to trust in competition.  Because of this, I decided before last year’s WAO to add a 2o2o for the times we would have a turn off the dogwalk.    I have worked so hard on not suckering into stopping her on the dogwalk just to play it safe (something I feared would happen a lot if I had that option).   This set-up was one where I feel she would have hit the contact driving forward towards the off course jump, but I also feel it would have put me in a call-off scenario and cost us precious time.  I weighed that with how much time cuing the 2o2o would take and feel I made the correct decision.   It allowed me to get lateral and cue a nice front cross a the following jump between #14-15 which also set-up a nice line to the A-frame.

For dogs with a running A-frame, it was possible that they could have extended forward off of the contact to the back-side of jump #17, so you can see in the video that, as I was running to get down the line, I gave Solei a threadle cue there so she wouldn’t just guess as to what side of the jump to take (after working so many back-side jumps, Solei tends to prefer to the back-side if it allows her to maintain better forward motion).  After that, it was a fun run to the finish and I chose to blind cross between the long distance between #18-19 to show maximum extension to the last jump.

Solei and I finished 9th in this class.  Considering we didn’t have the advantage of Solei’s running dogwalk on this course, I was very pleased to be in the top 10 in such a competitive group of dogs and handlers!



  1. Awesome commentary on your thought process, Lori. Loved watching your run with those comments in mind. Thank you!

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